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VIDEO: Cruz challenger Beto O'Rourke wants to ban the AR-15

Giving an interview at the SXSW conference in Austin Texas over the weekend, the Democratic nominee opposing Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said American civilians should not be permitted to buy an AR-15 rifle.

El Paso Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, is proud of his campaign's claim that he shuns political action committee (PAC) money. He criticized Senator Cruz for taking $300,000 from the National Rifle Association and boasted that his campaign has taken $0 from the NRA. He told a story about a woman at a town hall who asked him if he could stand up to the NRA. O'Rourke explained that he does not hire consultants, does not talk to pollsters, and does not consult focus groups.

He claims this freedom from PAC influence allows him to say things like "I could give a shit what the NRA thinks" about the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

"There is no reason an AR-15, a weapon of war designed for the sole purpose of taking lives as effectively and as efficiently and [in] as great a number as possible should be sold to civilians to be used in our schools, in our churches, in our concerts, in public life in this country," O'Rourke said. "I have no idea how that polls, and I could give a shit what the NRA thinks about it because it's the right thing to do."

A ban on the AR-15, the most popular rifle in America, is likely to poll extremely poorly in Texas, where 35.7 percent of the residents are gun owners. And O'Rourke's smear of the AR-15 as a "weapon of war" doesn't stand up to the facts.

As CRTV congressional correspondent Nate Madden explains in his "Capitol Hill Brief" video mini-series, "Firepower 101," the AR-15 is not a military-style weapon. It's a regular semi-automatic weapon that can be customized to look scary.

Now, O'Rourke is free to keep "ban the AR-15" as a plank in his Senate campaign platform. But don't be surprised when he proves Ted Cruz right: “If you’re gonna run in Texas, ya can’t be a liberal man.

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