Former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday he supports a national buyback program for so-called assault weapons, while acknowledging that he is “going to come” for those types of firearms if elected president.
“So to gun owners out there who say well, a Biden administration means they’re going to come for my guns,” CNN’s Anderson Cooper said in an interview with Biden.
“Bingo,” the Democrat interjected, “you’re right if you have an assault weapon.”
“The fact of the matter is they should be illegal, period,” continued Biden, who was interviewed about two mass shootings over the weekend that left 31 people dead in El Paso and Dayton.
Biden, who is leading the Democratic presidential field in polling, did not describe what he considers an assault weapon. The term is often misused by proponents of gun control to describe semi-automatic firearms.
“Look, the Second Amendment doesn’t say you can’t restrict the kinds of weapons people can own. You can’t buy a bazooka. You can’t have a flame thrower. The guys who make these arguments are the people who say, ‘The tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots. We need the protection against the government.”
Biden went on to describe how he would go about rounding up guns if he’s elected president, but stopped short of saying that federal authorities would enter peoples’ homes to as part of a confiscation program.
“How would you deal with all the assault weapons that are already out there that people have?” Cooper asked.
“What I would do is try to — I would institute a national buy back program and I move in the direction of making sure that that in fact was what we tried to do, get them off the street,” said Biden.
Cooper asserted that the proposal was not the same as confiscation programs.
“That’s not walking into their homes, knocking on their doors, going through the gun cabinets,” Biden said.
He added: “Right now there is no legal way to deny them the right if they legally purchased them but we can in fact make a major effort to get them off the street and out of the possession of people.”
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