Election 2020 Beto O'Rourke
Robert Francis 'Beto' O'Rourke (AP Photo/John Locher)
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By Larry Keane

Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, the poor fella, just can’t help himself.  He can’t seem to land on just one good idea. His latest big idea is you can keep your AR-15, but you’ve got to keep it at a hunt club or a gun range. His very Eurocentric compromise comes on the heels of learning that some people use AR-15s to hunt deer and other game.

O’Rourke was schooled on the hunting applications of modern sporting rifles by a Des Moines, Iowa, student who told him the AR-15 was an efficient tool for harvesting deer.

“So, this is the first time that I’ve heard the case made for using an AR-15 to hunt deer,” O’Rourke said, according to a Washington Examiner report. “I’ve heard feral hogs in Texas, which are a real problem…”

That Won’t Hunt

The former Texas Congressman might want to get better handle on his Lone Star roots. While the 5.56 mm round might be outlawed in some states for harvesting deer, it’s perfectly legal in Texas. Imagine his surprise when he learns that AR-10s look strikingly similar to AR-15s, but fire bullets in a variety of larger calibers, many perfectly suited for taking deer, antelope, elk and even bear.

ar-15 deer hunting
Liberte Austin for TTAG

O’Rourke’s flip-flop compromise on pushing a confiscation, complete with the threat of a door-to-door visit from law enforcement to round them up, was panned by several law enforcement groups as “asinine” and “ridiculous.” This isn’t his first time wandering in the wilderness of gun control. Or just pandering.

O’Rourke once wanted to be a U.S. Senator from Texas, but couldn’t best Sen. Ted Cruz. During that campaign, he told radio personality Chad Hasty, of the “Chad Hasty Show,” that he didn’t want to confiscate modern sporting rifles.

Ignore What I Said…

“If you purchased that AR-15, if you own it, keep it,” he explained in 2018, adding, “If you own a gun, keep that gun. Nobody wants to take it away from you — at least I don’t want to do that.”

He lost handily to Sen. Cruz in that election, which of course led him to eat dirt. Literally, he ate dirt. Now, he believed it was special New Mexico dirt with regenerative powers. But at least he shared. He brought some home for his family.

Still, think about this, O’Rourke might have opened the flood gates to a cottage industry. Hunt clubs are a thing in the United States. Many hunters pool their resources to lease properties and access hunting land. Owners of America’s rifle just need to declare themselves a hunt club and they’d have nothing to worry about when O’Rourke comes knocking on their door to collect them. “Sorry, you can’t take that. My house is a hunt club.”

In all seriousness, joining a hunt club to own guns might be the way they do things in jolly ol’ England, or Germany, but this is America. The Second Amendment is clear. It doesn’t say Americans can go to their local shooting range, gun club or hunt club and request to check out the rifle they own. Americans right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Not by the government. Not by a gun range or hunt club. Certainly, it can’t be the put under lock and key by a failing politician.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel at National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. Naw. One of my relatives was born here in the U.S., but moved to the UK a dozen years ago as part of a job promotion. He had to leave all his guns behind, and confirmed that over there you must not only register any firearm, but store it at a licensed gun club. So you certainly don’t have it at home if you need it in the middle of the night…only in a locker at a range somewhere miles away and under the watchful eye of the Guv.

    There’s no way Beto’s dream will come true here. I’m not worried.

      • In the UK, citizens do not have the same rights the US citizens do. That includes police searches without a warrant, and their rules about police entering a home when no one is there and without a warrant are much looser than in the US. So making an unregistered gun is a much bigger risk. Plus, I don’t know what info must be recorded and submitted to police for ammunition purchases.
        And no, UK citizens’ speech is not protected. The government keeps saying it is while arresting people for saying or writing non-threatening criticisms about other people that someone doesn’t like. Meanwhile the government avoids investigating reports of human traffickers and kidnappers so they don’t look racist.

      • If it comes to that as a necessity and not just a hobby then there are already plenty of guns in cop cars………

      • Lathes might be honest to god registered there. Or even banned from private use. I’ve been there before too, and mundane things here such as knives, power tools, and even kitchen tools are all heavily regulated. The real sad part is very few people even question the government over it.

        • TVs are registered and taxed, etc.
          The crown learned to disarm it’s population as thoroughly as possible after they failed in Concord and Lexington…

    • by now I think we all know this guy is an attention-seeking jerk who can’t seem to avoid putting his foot in his mouth…at least his extreme remarks seem to be working in our favor..

  2. I could open a hell of a club with the number of firearms on the premises… Only have 3 acres here but I suppose it all depends on what you want to hunt. Membership to my club is capped at 3, however.

    • I would if I could. But I lost all of mine in some boating accidents.

      Beto and his ideas are doomed to the Dustbin of History.

  3. Gun clubs, *right*.

    And who’s gonna guard that place after business hours, eh?

    I’ll stick with the “Geoff “I’m getting too old for this shit” PR” gun club, thank you. 24-7-365 access…

    • In slightly different phrasing, who would the keeper of the keys be. Also, where might that worthy be found. The question of who would stand guard over the valuable items stored there during “off hours”, guns are valuable personal property, bears repeating, and close examination too. Seems more and more that Beto needs an extra large shot of reality, something he seemingly lacks even a passing familiarity with. In passing, I have asked this question before, forgive my repeating it. Who writes the script that Beto reads from?

  4. Yes, let’s keep all of the AR’s at central locations, to make it easy for criminals to amass an arsenal in a few quick stops. Or, to make it easier for the government to confiscate them, whichever comes first. Think Beta thought that far ahead concerning my second point?

    • Yes count on it. Had he been thinking at all he would have said that straight up about the hunting clubs. Beto is a tool but a very ineffective one.

    • I remember when the ideas of central firearms repositories were considered and discussed in Australia in the 1990s. Rejected for several reasons. The first was during the discussions a bank was broken into and safety deposit boxes were looted. The facility would need better security than any bank. Then issues of hours of access, parking availability, accountability, processes and procedures, and finally COST.

      • There is one site in my state (New Jersey) for off-site storage of firearms, a place called “Gunsitters”.
        It has climate-controlled vaults with vault doors that would put most banks to shame!
        Storage fees cost about $160 per month for a locker containing about a dozen scoped long guns (the size of a large gun safe). Yes, that’s per MONTH, not per year, so it’s nearly $2,000 per year.

        For a smaller fee, this place will also store your 15-round magazines (which were legal in NJ until 2019) while the lawsuit works its way through the courts on whether the law limiting magazines to 10 rounds (without any grandfather clause!) is legal.
        Can you guess how many New Jersey residents turned in their 15 round magazines to the police after NJ politicians banned them? Exactly zero!
        (There were people who sold them out of state or paid a gunsmith to modify them to hold only 10 rounds, though).

  5. So he campaigns differently depending on whether he’s running at the state level or national level. In other words, he isn’t genuine, and he’ll say whatever he thinks will get him elected. Do the desperate women that support this joke care about that?

    Also, the guy proposing sweeping change to how you can use / access your own stuff has no idea what that stuff is used for. Could he be more of a joke? How does he even poll at 1%? What’s wrong with these people?

  6. I was working the other day and saw Beto Junction, KS. I said “Robert Francis” Junction, KS out loud without realizing it. I’ve been seeing that location on maps for for years.

    Then I had to explain it to my coworker.

    • My AR-15s identify as bolt actions. But we don’t talk about it. Wouldn’t want to trigger them.

      • Trigger them all you want. Just make sure they are pointed in a safe direction and that you are sure of your target and what is beyond.

      • One of mine is equipped with a Kali Key so as to legally make it a true bolt action. Because California.

        My others remain disassembled in the safe. When I take trips out of state, they “come out of the closet” and identify as real ARs.

        See what I did there, Leftists? I just stole your catch phrase and turned it for the force of good. It’s mine now.

  7. I’d rather form my own militia. Somehow, “A well regulated Hunt Club, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” doesn’t sound nearly as important.

  8. We don’t call it a hunt club, but I guess we could. Just me and a couple of buddies on a 1000 +/- acres. No lease. Just a few quail, backstraps and a handshake for the landowner. Oh, and grouper fillets during the summer. Don’t want to only be seen in November. We do have a safe in the camp house. Stays stocked with center fire rifles and a couple of suppressed .22s year round. But because it’s the law. Because it’s convenient.

  9. Yeah, like a charted one in every gun owner’s house. But if the feds start defining how a club is chartered what constitutes a club they will then be adding to that long train of abuses and list mentioned in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. And the document doesn’t specify if long means length of list or passage of time,

  10. Even tho Beto’s proclamations are laughable there are others in the running, and waiting in the wings, who would implement even his most ridiculous ideas in a heart beat; should they gain the power to do so.

  11. The AR-15 with a new upper and barrel can shoot the 300 Blackout or the 6.5 Grendel which gives you a 6.5mm or 30 caliber deer rifle or all three. Which can switch back to 223 is about 30 seconds.

  12. Stop pushing this MSR narrative. I hunt deer. I don’t think it’s ethical to use .223 on deer. Why would anyone use an AR15 to hunt deer? The cleaning, the weight, the expense, and the accuracy are all better in normal FUDD style hunting rifles.

    Don’t get me wrong, I got AKs and ARs for days. But WTF- don’t use a .223 for deer.

    • If your home defense rifle is a .223, there’s no reason you have to buy another rifle to hunt medium game with. Just load it up with something of the controlled expansion sort, 62-77gr would do nicely. It’s not like the DNR Convention requires you to hunt with 55gr FMJ.

      Furthermore, who said AR-15 = .223/5.56?
      .300BO is the approximate equal of 30-30 Winchester, with better bullet choices because ARs don’t have tubular magazines.

      And then there’s 6.5 Grendel, which isn’t as powerful as 6.5×55, but it’ll get the job done, as will .450 Bushmaster.

      And, as was mentioned in the main article, an AR-10 can handle most anything you’re likely to see in a short action Remington 700.

    • Why would anyone use an AR15 to hunt deer?

      I don’t know, maybe because they can’t afford multiple firearms. Perhaps through research they have come to the conclusion that an AR platform rifle can perform multiple roles adequately. Definitely not as good in a singular role as a firearm purposely designed and built for that role but probably more than capable. I have personal experience that an AR is more than adequate for hunting a variety of wildlife to include deer. I still have a quarter full freezer from last deer season that testifies to that.

      • You posted cringe bro. If you have enough money to buy an AR15, you can buy a proper deer gun. I’m not anti-gun or anything like that. I believe the 2A was written so that the people can own weapons of war. I own three AR15s, and AR10 and an AK.

        But the AR15 is a hunting rifle is just retarded. We owe it to the deer to be ethical hunters. Shooting a deer with a .223 is just not ethical. You’re like Lenny from The Simpsons: “Assault weapons have gotten a lot of bad press lately, but they’re manufactured for a reason: to take out today’s modern super animals, such as the flying squirrel, and the electric eel.”

        Stop pushing bad optics memes. What next? A Glock 19 with an extendo mag for deer hunting?

        nb4 “Shot placement”. OK- make hunters who use .223 pay a $1000 fine if they miss the vitals. Then use your PEQ-15 equipped AR-15 all you want to hunt mule deer.

        • Fudd on, Fudd. Let me know when you come up with a valid counter-argument. Because “If you have enough money to buy an AR15, you can buy a proper deer gun.” ain’t it. It’s awesome you have the resources for multiple firearms, a lot of people don’t. And it is not my place as a gun owner or hunter to tell them they cannot use a firearm or caliber that has been deemed legal in their state. Though you do seem to think it’s yours. But Fudds do have to Fudd.

        • His valid counter argument was that it’s not ethical to shoot a deer with a varmit round.

          He didn’t say you shouldn’t own an AR- he said deer with .223 was unethical. Why does everyone on this board result to name calling when they get called out by someone who isn’t anti-gun?

          I agree- maiming a deer because you won’t use the right tool because your trying to meme a dumb narrative is cruel.

          I’m tired of the absolute mess hunting is turning into. From the Hmongs in CA who will shoot at you with AR10s from their trucks to the Mexicans who use rifles in Angeles National Forest (verboten) – it is a mess.

        • Fuddddd,

          I’m pretty sure if you have to use, “I’m not anti-gun or anything like that.” to defend your position you already know that your position is looking pretty anti-gun. But in Old guy’s case it seems like he’s actually just a gun snob. Damn those “poors” using what the state allows them, right?

          What does “…trying to meme a dumb narrative…” even mean? I’ve never purposely or otherwise left an injured deer in the woods when using an AR pattern rifle if that’s what you mean. And I’ve never taken multiple shots at a deer just because I had five rounds in the magazine which seems to be what Fudders think hunters with ARs do. I’m not perfect and always gotten first shot or on-the-spot kills but everything I’ve shot at and hit over the last 25 or so years I’ve put in the freezer. I have maimed a deer up while using a 30-30 but that certainly wasn’t the rifle’s fault.

        • Not all deer are born equal. The .223 is not enough to hunt larger deer, like mulies or even white tails, out of any kind of gun. But down south, there live small breeds of deer for which proper load of 5.56 with heavy bullet of the right construction may suffice.

          AR15s also come in many different flavors, as mentioned above. I don’t know anyone who would claim that .450 Bushmaster,. 458 SOCOM or .500 Beowulf are underpowered and unusable for deer hunting at proper distance.

    • Are deer the only thing people hunt, or something? I didn’t think so. ARs are perfect for prairie dogs, racoons, ninjas, etc. They are also available in lots of other chamberings than just 5.56/.223, some of which are better for deer.

      • This guy keeps saying over and over that he believes it is unethical to deer hunt with a .223.

        Everyone keeps attacking him for other reasons and keeps name calling him. He keeps stating over and over that he supports the right of people to own ARs.

        Frankly, he’s right. Don’t hunt big game with a varmit rifle. And if you dont have the right equipment, don’t go deer hunting.

        Would you tell someone living in an apartment to use a 300 win mag for home defense? “But I only have one rifle”. I thought the anti gun people were dumb.

  13. Perhaps if a student explained the Constitution to Beatoff Boy Leftard,naw that’s too much to ask for.

    • He does have an identity crisis. Born Irish, or of Irish descent, but “identifies” as Hispanic.

  14. “Imagine his surprise when he learns that AR-10s look strikingly similar to AR-15s, but fire bullets in a variety of larger calibers, many perfectly suited for taking deer, antelope, elk and even bear”………or even their actual purpose of hunting tyrannical politicians, aka Butto et el.

  15. This statement is BS “So, this is the first time that I’ve heard the case made for using an AR-15 to hunt deer,” He has been told numerous times, he’s just too stupid to understand. A number of us in El Paso have tried to get him out to the range and educate him numerous times over the years. He has numerous standing offers, but the best any of us has ever gotten is a call back from his staff and “we will see if we can schedule something” followed by getting ghosted like an online date who used a profile pic from ten years, and 100 pounds ago, and “before the accident”.

  16. Beto has absolutely no connection to the real world. People have made some very good points about self-defense being difficult if in the middle of the night you need to wake up your gun club owner to get your rifle while the criminal waits patiently so you can have a fair fight. He is living in a bubble (or totally irresponsible about doing any homework) if he doesn’t know that AR-15’s (and 100’s of other semi-automatics that don’t look so scary) are used for hunting. Last but not least — who would be able to meet the gun club criteria? I happen to belong to a gun club but most of my hunting buddies do not and some of my best buddies can’t afford to join one. This is a classic case of “some empty suit” having an opinion when he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about.

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