by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
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.”