Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California wants to ban assault weapons, instate a federal gun buy-back program for those who own them and criminally prosecute those who refuse to hand them over.
The representative wrote an op-ed in USA Today Thursday rolling out what he feels is the gun control policy America should adopt, one that would take “military-style semiautomatic assault weapons” away from law-abiding citizens and threaten them with jail time if they refuse.
“Reinstating the federal assault weapons ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2004 would prohibit manufacture and sales, but it would not affect weapons already possessed. This would leave millions of assault weapons in our communities for decades to come,” Swalwell wrote. “Instead, we should ban possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons, we should buy back such weapons from all who choose to abide by the law, and we should criminally prosecute any who choose to defy it by keeping their weapons.”
Swalwell is more bold in his statements than many of his Democratic colleagues. Many Democrats support stronger background checks, which a great number of Republican lawmakers also support, banning bump stocks and other measures.
Lawmakers are trying to answer the public calls for legislative fixes to gun violence in the wake of Texas, Nevada and Florida shootings. Responding to those calls, House lawmakers proposed $2.3 billion in March toward funding mental health, additional training, and school safety programs at the Departments of Justice, Education and Health and Human Services.