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Politics & Government

Sen. Coons criticizes Democratic debate gun comments

Delaware Public Media

Sen. Chris Coons is criticizing comments on guns made during Thursday night’s Democratic debate in Houston.

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is calling for stricter gun control measures in the wake of two recent mass shootings in his home state.

The former Texas Congressman said if elected president, he’ll ban people from owning assault-style weapons and mandate people sell them back to the federal government.

But Coons said while he admires O’Rourke’s passion, describes the proposed ban as an extreme left position - like Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All idea.

“We have a few candidates for president who have been throwing out ideas on everything from healthcare to combating climate change to dealing with guns that are pretty far out in terms of what I think would ever be enacted or embraced,” he said.

Coons said he’s working with the White House and Republicans to negotiate a package of legislation that could get bipartisan support. He said O’Rourke’s mandatory gun buyback program is unworkable and will be used to scare gun owners from supporting Democrats.

“Former Congressman O'Rourke from Texas made a fairly bold statement that I don't think represents the views of most or frankly any of the democratic Caucus in the Senate that I know of."

Proposals could include red flag laws, and strengthening background checks for private sales and at gun shows.

Coons said he expects the White House to release details on what it will support early next week.

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