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By Larry Keane

It seems that the gun control ideas of former Congressman and Texas Democrat Robert “Beto” O’Rourke don’t travel well. They didn’t even survive a trip across the Texas state line into Arkansas.

O’Rourke is pushing a campaign platform that embraces an aggressive gun control agenda. It’s another of O’Rourke’s campaign reboots, this time on the heels of the horrific crime that happened in his hometown of El Paso.

Instead of recognizing the blame lies with the murderer who committed the heinous crime, O’Rourke’s presidential bid shifted blame to gun rights groups and Congress because they won’t pass poorly drafted and constitutionally-suspect legislation that would not have prevented the tragedy in El Paso or Dayton.

Among O’Rourke’s suggestions are the creation of a national firearms ownership licensing scheme and registry database. Anyone wanting to exercise their Second Amendment rights, under this scheme, would need to do much more than pass the required National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verification required today.

Beto’s Gun Control Wish List

The plan would call for:

  • Gun buyers to be over 21, so 18-year-old adults fully vested in their rights would have their Second Amendment rights held in abeyance. A carve-out would exist for those under 21 with hunting licenses to possess a firearm for hunting, but nothing else.
  • States would administer their own licensing programs, which can be more stringent.
  • In the absence of a state firearms licensing system, the federal government would administer licenses.
  • Gun buyers would be screened and authorized by local law enforcement.
  • Gun buyers would also be required to successfully complete certified gun safety training (without detailing what and who administers the training).
  • Renew licenses every five years.
  • Register all guns.
  • All new guns would be microstamped (even though the technology isn’t feasible or reliable and can be easily foiled by criminals).
  • Limit gun sales to one a month per individual. Name another constitutional right that is rationed by the government?
  • Declare anyone or any business that sells five or more guns, a business,” subject to ATF regulation.
  • All firearms transfers, even between family members, would need to be completed with a universal background check. Persons seeking a federal gun license would be required to undergo a background check.
  • Ban on standard capacity magazines and suppressors.
  • Implementing a mandatory confiscation of modern sporting rifles, labeled as a “national buyback program for banned assault weapons and handguns.” Handgun buybacks would be voluntary. Rifles, not so much. Those who don’t volunteer will be subject to fines.
  • Increase excise taxes on gun manufacturers and fine gun traffickers to fund the confiscation plan.
  • Declaring “gun violence” a public health emergency and spend $320 million annually for the CDC and NIH to study gun violence. What pill to take to cure criminal violence is still forthcoming.

Not So Fast

But a funny thing happened when O’Rourke road-tested his newfound plan. His ideas weren’t warmly received by the public at an Arkansas gun show.

The reality of the cost of the mandatory confiscation also suddenly became daunting. He posted a picture to his Twitter feed that showed a sign selling AR-15s for $395. O’Rourke noted that, if elected, no one would be able to buy them for that price. “You wouldn’t be able to buy them at all,” he said.

But if that were the running cost for the federal government confiscation, it would be $5.264 billion. That’s assuming every modern sporting rifle is worth only $329. If the median price were closer to $500, it’s $8 billion. At $750, it’s $12 billion and at an even grand per rifle, it’s a clean $16 billion. Pretty soon, we’re talking about real money, even for politicians who love to spend other people’s money.

That’s just the cost to confiscate legally owned private property. That doesn’t include administrative costs such as Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents to round them up, accounting, destruction and disposal costs. It also doesn’t account for the increased costs for the licensing and registry scheme. It also doesn’t budget in the legal costs for defending the unconstitutional policies that are bound to fail judicial scrutiny.

Of course, there’s also the matter of repealing the Firearms Owners Protection Act, that forbids the federal government from creating and maintaining a national firearms registry.

This gun-control road trip is desperately looking for an exit.


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

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  1. It’s wouldn’t be the monetary price tag our country would need to concern itself with… it’s would be the price in human lives. This plan would spark a civil war, hard stop. Even those of us who hate the bombastic “bring it on” nonsense all-too-frequently spewed around these parts would be forced to take up arms in defense of our rights.

  2. The police are racist. Give them the ability to determine who can and can’t own a gun. Actually, that’s a real part of history now that I’ve said it. A throwback to the days when the police (and other Democrats for that matter) would wear white robes and burn crosses and stuff.

    • “All cops are racist”, “The government is running concentration camps on the border”, “a woman’s body belongs to the church and her husband”, “ICE is murdering children”, etc, etc, etc…… makes me wonder why liberals want to disarm us and give the government a monopoly on firearms.

  3. Just look to California. We’ve been paving the road to gun control insanity for years under Democrat leadership (it’s been a supermajority for a while now), and they’re never satisfied. Every couple of years they pass more laws to restrict our liberties, high-five each other and say they’ve “Done Something”, then go back to work crafting more ways to “Do Something” again.

    Never mind the fact that we now have so many gun control laws in CA, our own LEOs can’t possible know them all and therefore cannot reliably enforce them correctly. Increasing numbers of gun owners (and some LEOs, a few whom I personally know) are simply beginning to ignore them altogether and just do what they want under the radar anyhow. A growing activity is to forego the public shooting range (which sometimes has ATF agents roving among the patrons) and go out to the desert for privacy, where you can pretty much shoot whatever you have.

    • Haz, Did you hear about the CA gun owners that had their hi cap mags confiscated by a Ventura Co Sheriff earlier this month? The owners I believe got their mags back and an apology. Talk about confusion of what are current laws.

  4. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have “second amendment” rights. I have God-given rights, that are protected against infringement by the second amendment.

    • ^this^
      Here is someone who has actually read the Constitution, AND the D.O.I. How rare.
      Thumbs up from me.

    • Chip,

      If we are going to be pedantic, then I would further modify your statement.

      “I have God-given rights, that are protected against infringement by the second amendment.”

      “I have God-given rights, including my right to effective self-defense which the Second Amendment declares is off-limits for government infringement.”

      I provided two monumentally important distinctions. First of all, I show that the Second Amendment is about effective self-defense from any one person or group of people who try to deprive us of our rights and human dignity. Second of all, I show that the Second Amendment all by itself does not actually protect my right to effective self-defense, which is evident in all the unrighteous infringements that various government politicians, bureaucrats, and agents have perpetrated upon us.

      While those two distinctions are subtle, they are very important.

      • “If we are going to be pedantic…”

        While I will readily admit to being pedantic, this instance is not an example of mere pedantry. We are dealing with people who believe that rights are granted by the government – and therefore are subject to revocation by the government.

        • Chip,

          I agree wholeheartedly. And that is why I made it a point to preserve your original wording that God gives us our rights, not government. I was simply modifying the exact nature of the Second Amendment and how it (which is nothing more than words on a piece of paper which expresses and ideal) all by itself does not actually protect us. That is ultimately up to each and every one of us. Hence the NEED for every individual to be able to avail themselves of firearms.

    • Whaaaaaaa???? I thought the 2nd ammendment gave us the right to have guns. You know, the same way the 13th ammendment is the only thing that keeps black people from becoming property. /sarc/

    • Amen brother! Those amendments are to limit the government infringing us, they are not something the government gave us. Our Founders understood those rights were given by God to all men and women, of all races, creeds, etc. Too bad no politicians today care one little bit about this. They believe everything flows from government and government only.

      • I won’t dispute any of your statement, Sparky. However, in the interest of playing the devil’s advocate, I wonder how many founders would have gladly remained Englishmen if THOSE rights hadn’t been trod upon..
        Much of our own Bill of Rights traces directly to an English act in 1688 – including the right to bear arms for personal use.

      • Even wars, up to that time, were considered a personal matter of the king. He was expected to incur ALL costs personally unless additional funds were approved by Parliament. American colonists were expected to pay for this standing army without representation. (Sound familiar?)
        This contrasts very much to the French monarchy of the time where the king had absolute authority

    • I doesn’t matter what he proposes. The only ones that have a chance are Biden, Warren, and Harris. No Bernie doesn’t make the cut. You heard it here first. You’re welcome.

      How about some common sense CRIMINAL control to curb CRIMINAL violence? That’s too hard, so let’s just blame 2A groups and republicans. Whew now that’s easy! Done and done!

      • I agree that Bernie has no chance, but right now he is neck and neck with Warren, and Harris has fallen into the deep end. The younger crowd appears to back Warren, while older folks tend to back Biden despite his gaffes. I guess they forgive him because they do the same but cannot admit that their faculties are slipping. Biden is the greatest example of ego over common sense.

      • I’d bet money Biden will be out long before the convention. Whoever gets the nomination is in for a shock at the election. I hope Trump can carry some new legislators on his coattails, he is going to crush the president contender.

        OH! And I still contend we are going to hear from Hillary.

        • ” Biden will be out long before the convention ”

          Biden is the anointed one. The fix was in on him from the day he got in to the race — which is why he was such a late entry. He wanted to wait and be sure the party establishment was behind him before he committed. All the other candidates are just backdrop to give the illusion that something like democracy is happening here. Even if Joe gets edged out in the primaries, he’s already got the super delegates– party hacks and bosses– firmly in his pocket.

          The establishment may have goofed. Not a shocker– they’re really kind of out of touch. But they will stay with Biden right up the the moment he says something really, really stupid (as opposed to the just really stupid stuff he’s been saying). They may try to shoehorn someone else in at the last minute if they can find another wishy-washy moderate, but it would be tough to find anyone as spineless and Jokin’ Joe.

          And, no, it won’t be Hillary. I’m sure she’s making some noises in the back rooms to that effect, but she is pure poison at this point. The party won’t even touch her.

      • It’s all blame the conservatives and such because they stand in the way of the communist takeover pushed by so called “democrats”.

        The left doesn’t care about “the children” or anything else except where it can be used to push their agenda.

        If you want to know their agenda read Alenski’s “Rules for Radicals”.


        They have fully succeeded with most.

        Be Prepared

  5. Here’s the thing with anti-gunners they don’t even want to compensate gun owners if this so called confiscation starts they just will just take them and have the gun-owner pray for his life in the process scary times ahead.

  6. Somebody should ask him if all of that was in effect would he vote to declare that the last gun control legislation and under these regulations would he legalize Constitutional carry since everybody would be vetted from here to Voyager 2. That’s the one that left the helios November 5th, 2018. That is 119 Astronomical Units or 119 times the 93 million miles we are from the sun. Voyager 2 was launched on my birthday, Aug. 29, 1977.

  7. What would happen is that you would be instructed to turn in the illegal firearms, magazines, etc at your local police department.
    From there, I would imagine it would get logged and transported to a facility for destruction.
    Still a huge undertaking both with manpower and money.
    I have “friends” already talking about storing firearms off property. I really hope it doesn’t come to that.
    As for a national registry, when you fill out a form to buy a firearm, they know what you have. Don’t kid yourself. Why do you think they want to outlaw private sales between individuals?
    People like Beto are dangerous and a threat to the US Constitution.

    • Some states that have registries do, but the feds really do not. ATF doesn’t get the physical record of a sale until a shop closes its doors, and then all of the records are converted into .pdfs that can only be searched by hand, one record at a time. The only computer searchable records are the manufacturers records of original sale to a wholesaler or retailer. The FBI does not record firearms information when it performs a back ground check.

      • What in the world would make you think 4473 data is not stored by the FBI? Because it is illegal? Why would they care? And why do you think the firearm you are purchasing needs to be identified in order to check your background?

        • For the most part, neither the ATF or FBI have a copy of the 4473 as long as the FFL is in business.

          The ATF only gets the 4473s if the FFL goes out of business.

          The procedeure if a firearm is recovered at a crime scene is for the ATF to trace the sale from the manufacturer through the distributor and then to the retail FFL from whom they obtain a copy of the 4473.

          20 years after the transaction, the FFL may destroy the 4473.

  8. Yes indeed, my God given right to protect myself, trumps the liberal’s controls. Where I live, calling the Troopers, results in a best time scenario of 20 minutes, probably closer to 30, if they are available at all? You are in essence, on your own…

  9. You know it still amazes me how tone deaf the dems can be. Hillary was slapped down running on what is essentially the same platform because (shock shock surprise surprise) the rest of America outside of traditionally liberal areas (colleges, major cities, and the like) does not really want more gun control. They can reason that even with all these laws on the books someone still went out and did the thing, and no amount of laws attacking the object used will ever stop them from doing it. It was all legal up until they crossed that magical GFZ line and fired that first shot into a defenseless victim, why it’s almost like laws don’t prevent illegal activity but instead exist as a written guide for how to punish said criminal act or give the DA more bargaining power in order to get that confession and never have to actually try their case in a court.

  10. Here’s a compromise.

    At 18, everyone gets a no cost to end user license when signing up for the draft, which replaces the NICS system as well as the need to register anything else or licenses (CCWs, class 3, suppressors, FFLs, ditch the damn ‘sporting purpose’ requirement as well for imports). Now everyone gets to register for the draft. I’ll toss in mandatory safety training at time of issue but that’s for everyone, not just people who plan on buying guns, and that is up to the government to fund. Classes to be offered at least biweekly at every post office.

    Through due process as part of a criminal proceeding the license can be revoked, and a database is maintained so applications for a replacement can be made at the post office if the original is physically misplaced. Some kind of challenge system set up to see if a license is valid that spits out a confirmation number for the sellers records… but that’s on the seller to process if they choose to and to maintain records of with a penalty for transferring arms to a prohibited person as it is today. ALL retail stores would do that to stay in business, as would anyone selling a gun to someone they didn’t know. Throw in a public database of stolen weapons to be looked up by serial number. Reporting to that is optional also, but makes life a lot easier if your stolen gun was used in a crime.

    I’m sure that misses a bunch of fine details but it’s better than Robert Frances’ extra infringements plan. Besides, I’m just a citizen who is NOT stupid enough to run for president and issue a list of demands, any of which results in my life being more difficult. I said it before, I would trust a government a hell of a lot more that would let me buy an MP5 without a bunch of hoops.

    Ohhh… one more thing. If you choose to run for office and are elected, you are personally liable for infringements on rights. All of ’em. You wanted the job.

  11. Those projected costs are forgetting the funeral and motorcade costs for lots of LEOs and politicians.

    And their families, relatives, and their pet turtles.

    • Ah! reading before commenting is good! That is PRECISELY what I was going to say, nearly word for word. “Nearly”, because as a merciful man I was going to spare the turtles.

  12. What is it with the Democratic Party that they keep finding these Irish gigolos to run for political office?

  13. I agree with Mr. Keane’s points, but he seems to presume that Beto-boy knows what his gun control proposals will cost, and that is taking the wind from his sails. I believe that Mr. O’Rourke is like any other wild-eyed jaw-flapping politician and hasn’t got a clue what it will cost to “control” us and our guns. All he knows is that if it might help him become president, he’ll say it. The gun control has always been strong with this one, so it’s only natural that he would run on it and damn the torpedoes.

  14. Okay, I’m lost. Is Bobby O’rourke sayin that even with the various licenses and background checks, if I were to theoretically lose my job and needed to sell off some of my gun collection, if it’s more than five guns, I have to register as an FFL?

  15. I wonder if Beto truly realizes he has no chance at all of becoming President. Not even a remote chance.

  16. Okay, so he just copied “The People’s Republic of M Assachusetts” Gun 🔫 Licensing scheme that is just the same as the Demo-Authoritarians made it and still just the Same as with GOP-RINO Overlord /Gov. Charlie “The Barker “Baker….Along with Assisting Authoritarian General (A.G.) / Maura Healey…..

    • The Vox story is by our little gun-hating buddy, German Lopez who, in the complete and total wisdom of youth, has all the answers for what ails this country with regard to guns. Treat the citizens like serfs who couldn’t find their arse with both hands in a well-lighted room – they must be put through the wringer to even think about getting a gun. I’m surprised he didn’t advocate for banning the sales of gun magazines as part of his gun control scheme. In his all-consuming condescending gun control eliteness, Lopez is no different than the Progressive Lefty Democratic candidates who think they know better than we do how we are to live.

  17. “This plan would spark a civil war, hard stop”

    I belong to a private gun club in MO with about 1500 members. Many have and shoot their AR’s at our club. I doubt you find 5 people that would even consider what you have stated there.

    Sorry but it is true. Sure lots would ignore the law and keep them some way, either in the same place they have them now (safe etc) or buried some place. Many would turn them in and move on, especially if some stood and up and were quickly taken out.

    • Oh you’d find five, maybe not a majority, but you know what they say about the participation rate during our Revolution.

    • Oh, if you stand up you deserve to be taken out. As in the revolution, you hide behind trees and shoot them as they ride by. After a week, no one would be riding by. Then we go hunting.

  18. A liberal takes on the responsibility of agreeing to be vetted, takes the responsibility to make sure his guns are locked up at home so children do not end up blowing each others heads off, and takes the responsibility to get a security alarm system as well. The Right Wing Morons do none of the above and that is the group that should not be able to own any firearms because it is they who cause the carnage that results in stolen guns being used in crimes, children being unnecessarily chilled and nut cases buying all the weapons they want. Liberals with guns are not the problem and never have been the problem but rather its the irresponsible Jethero Bodine’s that cause all the anti-gun laws to be written and the confiscation laws to be gassed because they could not act like responsible adults with guns. It is they that opposed living in a civilized society because any of the above procedures or laws might inconvenience them as well as having to walk across the street to take a shit, its just to much trouble to go through.

    • Yeah I’m not sure that there is any statistical analysis that identifies the politics of someone whose guns are stolen or misused. You know for a fact that liberals are the only worthy gun owners? A few anecdotes here and there is hardly a sufficient reason to infringe on the rights of millions.

      The main problem with gun laws is that they seek to prevent a crime by committing a crime against the masses. They attempt to control one variable. Problem is every individual crime has a ton of variables. When crime continues to occur, will you demand more laws?

      History shows, it’s never enough, the gun control mentality is never satisfied.

    • Methinks Vlad may be a POTG posting as a Leftist-feudalist. I could be wrong, but the schtick is so over-the-top.

      Sarcasm is a useful tool. Apologies if I’m totally wrong, but you heard it here first.

    • When the boy was in his senior year in college, I made the mistake of asking him why he always put his shoes on first and then put his socks on. He answered with some claptrap about being a moral liberal. Then he assured me that it did not matter because in the next election the democrat party would seize all political power in the entire nation. After they abolish all other parties, they will send someone to his apartment every morning and help him get dressed.

  19. I’m just going to set aside the whole “rights” thing as well as cost for a moment.

    The problem here is that everything here won’t do Jack shit about the actual problem(s).

    Jordan Peterson had an interesting conversation with Jocko Willink earlier this year where Peterson pointed out that people, especially public servants, who use words like “unimaginable” with respect to terrorism or mass violence are unfit for leadership positions dealing even tangentially with those issues. If you can’t think like the bad guy you’ll lose every time because he’ll go to dark places you won’t and be outside your “box” consistantly.

    He also points out, without saying it in so many words, that people who talk like this are liars. We all have the capacity for “compassion and tender action” (Col. Kurtz) and the capacity for extreme violence. We just don’t like to admit the latter. We like to use words like “evil”, “unimaginable”, “incomprehensible” etc to avoid admitting that we’re capable of exactly the same actions as some mass shooter/terrorist/murderer/other violent asshole.

    In some Freudian way this is Beto admitting that he knows everyone is capable of this kind of thing, himself included, that being dangerous to others is part of being human. Beto simply can’t take the high road and admit that being dangerous is normal and that being dangerous and disciplined is good because he himself is not disciplined and he fucking well knows it.

    As such he proposes a bunch of things that 1) make him feel better about himself and 2) won’t do anything useful because he’s lying about the root cause of this problem, which is the very lack of discipline he sees in himself.

    • The criminal has a distinct advantage. They voluntarily travel to much darker places than most people are willing to imagine. If LEO is unwilling to go there, we are so screwed.

      For my part, and for my local LEO’s part, they see the depravity all too well. However, if we speak of this to the sheeple, they get all wild-eyed and think we’re one of the wolves.

      Any suggestions? Don’t talk of social depravity to sheeple?

      • Don’t try to talk the depraved out of it. Just guard against them. That would be my advice.

  20. I don’t need a license for what is a God given right, rather than a privilege.
    Beto is toils are an effort in futility because he’ll never get elected anyways.

    • LOL “God given right” ? Is God going to go Old Testament and strike the police officers dead when they try to red flag you in the middle of the night ? He’s been pretty passive lately.

  21. The guy is a horses ass, “no insult to horses meant”, who names their kid Beto. If he grew up in NYC he would have had his ass kicked on a daily basis back in the day. Another Melineal looking for a scapegoat. Re-open the nut houses and we get them filled up in a few weeks. Then 80% of this stops, what did they think would happen when they let the crazy’s out of the institutions? It’s always , and this comes from a high school teacher”, the screwed up white kids who sit in the corner of the class and don’t have any friends. Easy to profile, no Black kids , no girls, just psyco white males, who no one talks to. Watchem

  22. It would cost Beto O Dorks police state government $10,000,000 to purchase my AR 15 Modern Sporting Rifle. Slacker doofus Beto O’Rourke looked into the camera and screamed that he was going to take our guns.

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