Earlier today, I commented that Beto O’Rourke’s gun control plan is pretty much dead. After all, he’s pretty much being slammed by the Right and the Left.
However, there’s another group of people that are taking issue with O’Rourke’s hairbrained scheme. It seems the groups representing the good men and women who would be required to enforce such idiotic laws are taking issue with them as well.
National law enforcement organizations harshly criticized Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s plan to send police officers to collect AR-15s and AK-47s from those who refuse to turn them in under his mandatory buyback scheme.
In interviews with the Washington Free Beacon, leaders from groups representing hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers described Beto’s gun confiscation plan as “ridiculous,” “asinine,” and likely unconstitutional.
Their comments come after Beto told MSNBC on Wednesday that he would send “law enforcement to recover” firearms from those who would not comply with his buy-back plan. O’Rourke vividly described the plan at September’s Democratic primary debate, declaring that “hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
A leader of the National Fraternal Order of Police—the nation’s largest police union, representing more than 330,000 sworn law-enforcement officers—said that not only was Beto’s plan unlikely to be constitutional but that Beto himself was unlikely to ever be elected.
“Mr. O’Rourke may not be aware that state and local police officers (who comprise more than 90% of all police in the U.S.) receive their orders from their local jurisdictions – not from the Federal government,” Jim Pasco, executive director of the FOP, wrote in an email to the Free Beacon. “Further, any such legislation, if it passed, would no doubt be vigorously litigated with a view to its apparent inconsistency with the Second Amendment.”
“In view of the foregoing, and in view of Mr. O’Rourke’s current standing in the polls, we do not view this as an issue we will have to grapple within the foreseeable future,” he added.
Of course, there are others who are taking issue with the proposal, but it’s yet another nail in the coffin of mandatory buybacks.
One area Pasco is right about is the litigation that would follow if such a bill were passed. While a more “traditional” assault weapon ban–one that bans features from future guns–may or may not survive legal review, an outright ban on an entire category most certainly would not. It’s important to remember that the Heller decision stemmed from a handgun ban and found that banning entire categories of firearms was unconstitutional.
That’s precisely what O’Rourke is proposing.
Mr. Pasco is right that there would be litigation. He’s also right that Beto’s poll numbers suggest it’s a bit of a non-issue since the only way he’ll get to the White House is if he takes the tour.
This should also serve as a reminder to other candidates who might decide to take up this mantle and run with it. It’s not a good place to go if you value your candidacy, especially since it doesn’t have the support you may think it does.