California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell joined the already-crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates on Monday by taking aim at gun rights.
Swalwell announced his candidacy on Monday’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
“I talked to kids who sit in their classrooms afraid they’ll be the next victims of gun violence,” Swalwell told Colbert.
“They see Washington do nothing about it after the moments of silence.”
“They see lawmakers who love their guns more than our kids and none of that is going to change until we get a leader who is willing to go big on the issues we take on, be bold on the solutions we offer, and do good in the way that we govern. I’m ready to solve these problems. I’m running for president of the United States,” Swalwell said.
Swalwell has made no secret of his opposition to gun rights.
And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) November 16, 2018
Swalwell is the 18th Democrat in the race for the party’s nomination, according to NPR.
During an interview with Esquire that was published Monday, Swalwell listed among his goals that “in our lifetime we could buy back and ban every single assault weapon.”
Swalwell cited gun control when asked about the issue that would differentiate him from the rest of the pack.
“I will be the first candidate to say that reducing gun violence has to be a top three issue. Last year I wrote a bill calling for a buy back and ban on assault weapons—not just to ban future manufacturing, but to just take the 15 million that are out there and buy them back,” he said.
So much for “No one wants to take your guns.”
Eric Swalwell on semi-automatic rifles: ‘Just take the 15 million that are out there and buy them back’ https://t.co/7OoUNkVPRl
— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) April 9, 2019
In the interview, Swalwell praised the kinds of gun laws that Australia has had and that New Zealand is now considering.
Last week, New Zealand lawmakers moved forward a proposal to ban what it terms “military-style” semi-automatic guns and high-capacity magazines. Semi-automatic shotguns that could have detachable magazines and pump-action shotguns with a capacity beyond five rounds would also be banned, according to The Washington Post.
“And I’m inspired by this next generation, who lifted themselves up out of this Parkland tragedy and went to the town squares and the town halls and marched on the ballot box and took out a number of NRA-endorsed candidates,” he said, referring to Democratic successes in the 2018 midterm elections.
Swalwell said he’s not worried about taking on the National Rifle Association, calling the NRA out of step with Americans.
“I’ve seen that when I go across the country. The NRA — they are a paper tiger. They have us in fear that (if you support) any limitation on firearms, you would be in a position that the overwhelming majority of the country is against you. And I’ve just come to find out that’s not the case at all,” he said.
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