Lauren Boebert says Beto O'Rourke's assault weapon buyback plan 'looked like it was ripped from the pages of Mein Kampf'

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Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado speaking at a Trump rally; Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke speaking at a campaign rally
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado speaking at a Trump rally; Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke speaking at a campaign rallyGetty Images
  • Lauren Boebert rails against government gun regulations in her new memoir.

  • A 2019 buyback plan "should have scared the heck out of any freedom-loving American," she writes.

  • There have been dozens of mass shootings since then and only modest changes to gun laws.

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke's 2019 plan to curb gun violence was as jarring to pistol-packing civilian Lauren Boebert as anything in Adolf Hitler's bigoted manifesto, the now-Colorado Republican writes in her new memoir.

One of the reasons Rep. Boebert gave for running for office in November 2020, she recounts in "My American Life," was the fear that Democrats like O'Rourke might one day attempt to confiscate readily available firearms. O'Rourke campaigned on a proposal to take semi-automatic assault rifles like the AR-15 and AK-47 out of circulation following a racially-motivated mass shooting in El Paso, Texas that left nearly two dozen people dead.

"It was with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough where O'Rourke's answer to what he would do if people refused to sell back their guns looked like it was ripped from the pages of Mein Kampf," Boebert writes of the exchange that officially freaked her out.

O'Rourke told MSNBC that if the owner of an illegal weapon fails to sell it to the government, law enforcement would "recover that firearm and to make sure that it is purchased, bought back, so that it cannot be potentially used against somebody else."

"Just as in any law that is not followed or flagrantly abused, there have to be consequences or else there is no respect for the law," O'Rourke tells the MSNBC hosts who posed a hypothetical about "next steps" should gun owners refuse to hand over legally purchased assault-style weapons that have subsequently been outlawed.

"Wow! O'Rourke planned to send armed officers to your home to take your guns," Boebert writes. "That should have scared the heck out of any freedom-loving American."

Boebert isn't the first conservative to compare US gun regulation to Nazi gun control polices. Some on the right have argued that European Jews and other Nazi targets were disarmed victims of gun control.

The proposed buybacks were just one piece of O'Rourke's anti-gun violence pitch. During that same appearance on MSNBC, O'Rourke outlined a gun control platform including universal background checks, expanded red flag laws, and banning the sale of "weapons of war" to the general public.

And the former congressman is still fired up about it today as he seeks to unseat Trump-endorsed incumbent Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott this fall.

"I think we are fools to believe anything other than that these weapons of war will continue to be used with greater frequency against our fellow Americans," O'Rourke told rally goers May 21 in Abilene, Texas — just days before a mass shooting 250 miles south in Uvalde, Texas left 21 dead, including 19 schoolchildren.

Boebert joined 192 of her House GOP colleagues in voting against the bipartisan gun reform package President Joe Biden signed into law on June 25.

"For the record, I don't believe guns cause violence," Boebert writes in her book. "I believe it is the evil in man that illegally shoots and kills."

O'Rourke did not respond to a request for comment about Boebert's anecdote.

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