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WASHINGTON — Rep. Eric Swalwell of California might have left the presidential race, but his signature issue is still on the primary ballot.
After the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton earlier this month, Swalwell’s proposal for a mandatory buyback of all assault-style weapons was embraced by the congressman who represented the Texas border city, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke — giving the idea its highest-profile platform yet.
Swalwell - Candidates - Lead - Conversations - Moms
Swalwell has been actively advising presidential candidates to follow his lead, telling them in conversations that “the moms will have your back,” even as critics denounce the plan as gun confiscation that would turn ordinary Americans into criminals.
“If you want to ban future sales, I actually think intuitively you're already there,” Swalwell said. “You recognize these are weapons we can’t have in our communities, and the next step shouldn't be that hard, which is to get the ones that are there now.”
Week - Group - Survivors - Parkland - Shooting
This week, a group led by survivors of the Parkland shooting unveiled a plan that included the same concept — a departure from more common proposals that would only ban the future sale of affected firearms.
Democratic candidates and prominent gun safety groups, however, are still mostly unwilling to embrace the idea, with some, like former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, responding with calls for making any buyback programs voluntary. Up until fairly recently, it was hard to find any nationally known politicians arguing that gun owners should be forced to turn in their weapons, period — even as many praised Australia for implementing a similar law.
Party - Legislation - Support - Congress - Background
The party instead focused largely on passing legislation that enjoys bipartisan support in Congress, like universal background checks and "red flag" laws that would take guns from those deemed a danger to themselves or others. The leading background check bill is co-authored by...
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