The Democratic Senate candidate in Kansas came out in support of Australian-style gun confiscation during a campaign event last weekend.
When asked about adding a training requirement to the state's gun-carry permit application process, Democrat Barbara Bollier said U.S. gun-control measures do not go far enough. After noting that she has a daughter living in Australia, Bollier praised a controversial gun-confiscation program the country instituted in the 1990s.
"They have no guns. They don’t allow them. They just took them all away," Bollier said with a chuckle in a video obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. "And, you know what, it’s pretty darn safe. It’s this amazing thing."
The outcome of the race could impact who controls the Senate after the election since Bollier is running to replace retiring Republican senator Pat Roberts. Bollier's stated support for gun confiscation could make her campaign against Republican Roger Marshall harder to win in the traditionally red state. Bollier already faces an uphill but not unwinnable battle, with The Cook Political Report rating the race as currently leaning toward Marshall.
The Bollier campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
After offering praise for Australia's gun-confiscation program, Bollier said a limited number of Australians were able to own guns "out in the Bush" but noted "there’s all these specific requirements and training." She said she similarly supports training requirements for gun ownership in America.
"Who thinks you can just go out and have a gun?" she said. "Seriously, you can’t drive a car without training, you can’t basically do anything without some kind of training."
Eric Pahls, the campaign manager for the Marshall campaign, told the Washington Free Beacon that Bollier would bring a radical gun-control agenda to the Senate.
"This may sound good to Bollier’s donors in San Francisco, but to Kansans, this is disqualifying," he said. "Even among Democrats, forced gun confiscation is an alarming concept."
Bollier's comments supporting gun confiscation come as gun-control groups have begun to shy away from the issue. In a recent swing state ad campaigns, Everytown for Gun Safety completely avoided the issue of guns in favor of ads about health care and energy issues.
They also come as Kansas and the rest of the country are experiencing record gun sales. Industry estimates suggest there could be nearly 7.5 million new gun owners across the country. If even a fraction of those new gun owners become politically active gun voters, the impact in races like Bollier's could be significant.