Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.) admonished fellow presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Monday for referring to a mandatory gun buyback proposal as “confiscation” on the grounds that doing so propagates a right-wing talking point.
“Calling buyback programs ‘confiscation’ is doing the NRA’s work for them,” wrote Booker on Twitter, “and they don’t need our help.”
Buttigieg insisted on referring to buybacks as “confiscation” in an interview on the Snapchat show Good Luck America. Previously, the South Bend, Indiana Mayor shied away from such comparisons.
“As a policy, it’s had mixed results,” said Buttigieg during an October 2 interview. “It’s a healthy debate to have, but we’ve got to do something now.”
O’Rourke subsequently condemned Buttigieg’s comments, saying Buttigieg was “afraid of doing the right thing” by supporting mandatory buybacks.
“[O’Rourke] needs to pick a fight in order to stay relevant,” Buttigieg commented on Good Luck America.
O’Rourke has previously pushed the issue of mandatory gun buybacks and outright confiscation, declaring at the third Democratic primary debate in September that he supports taking away certain semi-automatic rifles from their legal owners.
“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against a fellow American anymore,” O’Rourke said at the time.
Buttigieg is currently polling at five percent while O’Rourke stands at just 1.8 percent. The former Texas congressman has struggled to gain more than two percent of the vote, but has captured attention for radical policy proposals on gun rights and issues of church and state.
During a CNN Townhall on October 11, O’Rourke called for institutions that don’t support same sex marriage, such as churches, religious schools and charities, to be stripped of their tax-exempt status.