Julian Castro, 2020 Democratic hopeful, calls gun buybacks ‘good policy’

April 12, 2019 GMT

Democratic presidential candidate Julin Castro announced his support Thursday for federal gun buybacks as part of his platform on combating gun violence.

“I support things like gun buybacks,” the former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary and San Antonio mayor said during a CNN town hall.

“I know that they have had mixed success, but I believe that, in some circumstances, that’s a good policy, and that we can recover some weapons that shouldn’t be out there on the street,” he said.

Mr. Castro said he also supports universal background checks, banning high-capacity magazines and preventing people who have committed domestic violence from buying firearms.

“We need to make sure that we do everything that we can so that people who get their hands on guns do so in a safe way,” he said.

Mr. Castro’s comments follow a similar announcement by Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, who became the first 2020 candidate this week to endorse a mandatory federal buyback on all semi-automatic rifles, or so-called “assault weapons.”

Mr. Swalwell has proposed a buyback program in which the federal government offers Americans up to $1,000 for every “assault weapon” and then criminally prosecutes anyone who chooses not to participate. He said the program would cost taxpayers roughly $15 billion.

While local gun buyback programs have risen in popularity in recent years, several national studies have found they’re among the least effective ways to reduce crime.