2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate and California Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he would send gun owners to prison if they did not comply with a proposed ban and turn over “assault weapons” to the government.
During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper, Swalwell — the California congressman who threw his name into the ring for the Democratic presidential nomination last week — was asked if people who chose to defy his proposed ban and buyback of “assault weapons” would go to jail for not complying.
Swalwell answered that “they would” before bringing up the “alternative” of leaving the weapons at a “hunting club” or a “shooting range.”
Tapper: Criminal prosecution for anyone keeping assault weapons. What’s the punishment for people who don’t hand in their guns? Do they go to jail?
Swalwell: Well, Jake, they would, but I also offer an alternative which would be to keep the weapons at a hunting club or a shooting range. And the reason I’ve proposed this is because these weapons are so devastating — I’ve seen this as a prosecutor in the cases that I’ve prosecuted.
Watch the video here:
2020 Democratic presidential candidate @RepSwalwell vows to focus on gun control: “It’s not just the violence that they’ve caused, it’s the fear, the immeasurable fear that our children live in because they’re still on our streets. I want to get rid of that fear.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/qaFxYnTjBM
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) April 14, 2019
Swalwell went on to say that he wanted to emulate New Zealand and Australia’s gun laws to “get rid” of the “immeasurable fear” that “our children live in” due to gun violence.
“It’s not just the violence that they’ve caused; it’s the fear. The immeasurable fear that our children live in because they’re sill on our streets. I want to get rid of that fear. I want to do what Australia did and what New Zealand just recently did.”
The California Democrat continued on to say that he only wanted to keep the “the most dangerous weapons, these weapons of war out of the hands of the most dangerous people.” He also said that other people could “keep [their] pistols, [their] long rifles, and [their] shotguns.”
Swalwell then said he wanted background checks and to “invest in gang violence prevention programs” as well as “more community-oriented policing.”
The consequences for the proposed ban are not the first time Swalwell has taken aim at gun owners. In November of 2018, Swalwell responded to a tweet that claimed a “war” would break out if the government attempted to take the guns of U.S. citizens by saying that the “war” would be “short” because “the government has nukes.”
And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) November 16, 2018
Swalwell is one of the newest additions to the growing 2020 Democratic presidential primary, which is expected to hit 19 candidates should South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg formally announce his candidacy, as he expected to do on Sunday.