Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., doesn’t like that fellow candidate Pete Buttigieg referred to mandatory gun buybacks as “confiscation.”
On an episode of SnapChat’s “Good Luck America” show released Monday, the South Bend, Indiana, mayor criticized the gun confiscation proposal put forward by former Texas congressman and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke in recent weeks.
Buttigieg referred to O’Rourke’s mandatory buyback idea as “confiscation” and dismissed the idea in favor of other gun control proposals that he sees as more workable and pragmatic.
“I just don’t think we should wait to have a fight over [gun] confiscation when we can win on background checks and assault weapons bans and red flag laws right now,” Buttigieg said on the show. He added that he prefers gun control policies that can be put into place “right now.”
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— Peter Hamby (@PeterHamby) October 14, 2019
Booker responded to Buttigieg’s description of the policy by saying that the Indiana mayor was doing the bidding of pro-gun groups.
“Calling buyback programs ‘confiscation’ is doing the NRA’s work for them, @PeteButtigieg,” Booker tweeted, “and they don’t need our help.”
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 14, 2019
O’Rourke came out with the idea of gun confiscation for so-called “assault weapons” as part of his gun control plan released in August. He made a bigger splash with the idea, however, when he proclaimed “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” at the September Democratic debate.
Booker, like O’Rourke supports the idea of forcing people to give their guns to the government but has also previously pushed back against objections to gun confiscation as “far-right fear-mongering.”
“Look, we as a society have gotten weapons of war off of our streets in the past. In the 1980s it was machine guns. We collectively agreed these guns do not belong on our streets, and we got rid of them,” the New Jersey senator told CNN in September. “We can do that with these assault rifles that are the tool of choice for mass murderers, and most Americans agree with that.”
However, even if the proponents of mandatory buyback policies don’t like the term “confiscation,” it’s not at all likely to go out of use. A mandatory buyback is when the government uses coercion to strip people of their once-legally-owned property, even if there is compensation offered in return.