Former Vice President Joe Biden told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday that gun owners who are worried he's coming for their firearms are right to have that fear.
"So to gun owners out there who say well, a Biden administration means they're going to come for my guns," Cooper began.
"Bingo," Biden quickly replied. "You're right if you have an assault weapon. The fact of the matter is they should be illegal, period. Look, the Second Amendment doesn't say you can't restrict the kinds of weapons people can own. You can't buy a bazooka. You can't have a flame thrower. The guys who make these arguments are the people who say, 'The tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots. We need the protection against the government.'"
Biden later clarified that he did not mean he was immediately going to try to implement confiscation programs, but rather that he wanted to "institute a national buy back program" to get "assault weapons" off the street. However, he seemed to leave the door open for further measures.
"Right now there is no legal way to deny them the right if they legally purchased them but we can in fact make a major effort to get them off the street and out of the possession of people," Biden said.
'Bingo': Biden says his administration would take certain guns from Americans youtu.be
Most of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have advocated for some form of ban on "assault weapons" or "assault-style weapons" or "military-style assault weapons," terms which are not always clearly defined by the candidates.
Andrew Yang has one of the more varied plans of the candidates, having proposed a tiered licensing system that would allow for legal ownership of hunting rifles, handguns, semi-automatic weapons and fully-automatic weapons based on levels of experience, training, and federal oversight.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), on the other hand, would give Congress 100 days to pass gun control legislation she deems appropriate, and after that she would take executive action.