O’Rourke ‘Open to’ Australia-Style Mandatory Buyback Program for Guns

'Let's move forward and do it'

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said on Monday during an interview with the liberal podcast Pod Save America, that he was open to an Australia-style mandatory buyback program for guns.

"Studies show that the most effective gun control measures have been gun licenses and mandatory buyback programs like they did in Australia. Would you be open to those proposals as president?" host Jon Favreau asked.

"Yes. And I'm open to them right now as a candidate," O'Rourke answered. "It absolutely has to be part of the conversation."

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Gun control advocates have slowly embraced the Australia example as a model for the United States. In 1996, Australia implemented a mandatory gun buyback program.

"And at the end of the day, if it's going to save lives, if it's going to prevent the kinds of tragedies that we saw in El Paso, Gilroy, and Dayton, or this weekend in Chicago or all over the country on a daily basis, then let's move forward and do it," O'Rourke added.

The former Texas congressman has led the charge for stricter gun-control policies in the aftermath of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that took the lives of 31 individuals.

"And I know it's not easy, I come from Texas and this is a very proud gun-owning state. But I also know from listening to people in Texas – gun owners, Republicans, non-gun owners, Democrats, independents, everyone – people want to make sure that their kids are okay, that their families are safe," O'Rourke said.

The last Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, praised Australia's gun confiscation during the 2016 program. Clinton lost to then businessman Donald Trump.