California Congressman Eric Swalwell has thrown his hat into the crowded 2020 Democrat presidential field and will center his campaign on gun control, including a “mandatory buyback” of all ‘assault weapons’ currently in possession of lawful firearms owners.
Swalwell stated his objectives in an interview with Esquire published to coincide with his formal campaign announcement on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Monday.
“I’m going to be an aspirational candidate who believes that in our lifetime we could… buyback and ban every single assault weapon,” Swalwell said. “I will be the first candidate to say that reducing gun violence has to be a top three issue.”
“Last year I wrote a bill calling for a buyback and ban on assault weapons — not just to ban future manufacturing, but to just take the 15 million that are out there and buy them back. And do what Australia did, do what New Zealand did. They’ve shown us — Australia in the 90s, New Zealand just this week — that courage in doing the right thing can protect people.”
Swalwell confirmed his intention that the “buyback” would be mandatory in an op-ed also published on Monday.
“I’m the only candidate calling for a mandatory national ban and buyback of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons,” he wrote. “It’s bold and will cost money, but it is constitutional and it rightly treats gun violence as a life-or-death matter.”
“Our children deserve better than an attempt to reduce or contain gun violence. Our goal must be to end it.”
Swalwell recently ignited a firestorm when he insinuated that the U.S. government could deploy nuclear weapons against gun owners who resist his confiscation plans.
“Make no mistake, Democrats want to eradicate the Second Amendment, ban and seize all guns, and have all power rest with the state,” tweeted Newsmax host and former NYPD officer John Cardillo with a link to an article quoting Swalwell’s call to, “Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters.”
Military veteran Joe Biggs responded to Cardillo, “So basically Rep. Swalwell wants a war. Because that’s what you would get. You’re outta your fucking mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov all the power.”
Swalwell, who was tagged in the conversation, weighed in.
“And it would be a short war my friend,” Swalwell wrote. “The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit.”