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TX – GUN POLITICS – El Paso Mayor Dee Margo says he won’t support mandatory buyback of assault weapons

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo doubled down Friday on his support of stricter background checks but stopped short of supporting other gun control measures like “red flag” laws and an assault weapons ban. And — unlike his fellow El Pasoan Beto O’Rourke — he said outright that he did not support any kind of mandatory buyback program. The Republican and former state legislator spoke at a Texas Tribune Festival panel alongside Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat. The cities saw deadly mass shootings on the same weekend last month. Days after the shootings, Margo and Whaley were among a bipartisan group of more than 200 U.S. mayors who called on the U.S. Senate to return from recess to pass background check legislation — a request Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined. On Friday, they agreed that background checks are a necessary first step before exploring other types of gun control measures, including red flag laws, though Whaley expressed more pointed support for other policies. “I always want to avoid a knee-jerk response without looking at what are the potential ramifications,” Margo said, adding that “the easiest place to start is the background check.” Also at Friday’s discussion, Margo appeared open to exploring red flag laws but also expressed concern about them being abused, saying, “You’ve got to make darn sure you’ve got the protections in there and also that it couldn’t be used as a leverage point for someone to get at someone else.” As for an assault weapons ban, he said, “I don’t know that we really need that type of weapon,” but also that “you can be just as powerful with a 9 mm.” He also noted that there is disagreement over the definition of what constitutes an assault weapon, and that needs to be cleared up before anything else can be done.  [full article]

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