Eric Swalwell on Sunday said he would model his plan for an assault weapons ban and buyback on what was passed in Australia in the 1990s and, more recently, in New Zealand.
And yes, he said, that means that if a person is caught with one of those banned weapons, they could face jail time.
Asked how that message might land politically with people in the South and Midwest, Swalwell had this message:
“I tell them keep your pistols, keep your rifles, keep your shotguns, but we can ban and buy back the most dangerous weapons. There is a new gun safety majority in America and it’s time we lean in and negotiate up.”
Swalwell also discussed his frustration with lawmakers' inaction in the face of a steady stream of mass shootings.
“When I went to Congress, Sandy Hook happened. And there was nothing. Then Charleston: Nothing. San Bernardino: Nothing,” he said, before ticking off one mass shooting after another: “Orlando, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs: Nothing, nothing, nothing. It’s this ritual. Grief, anger, moments of silence is an alibi for doing nothing.”
“As president, I’m not going to negotiate down anymore,” he said, then framed the question for voters: “Do we want to stop the bleeding,” he asked, “or do we want to stop the shootings. I’m running for president to stop the shootings.”