Assault weapon comment during Democratic debate fuels gun control controversy

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A comment from former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke during Thursday's Democratic debate has ignited criticism and praise in the ongoing topic of gun control.

O'Rourke says there should be a law requiring private citizens who own assault weapons to sell them to the federal government.

Dix Hills native Scott Beigel was among the 17 people killed by a semi-automatic rifle in last year's school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Beigel's mom, Linda Beigel Schulman, watched the debate and strongly supports O'Rourke's proposal.

"Assault weapons do not belong in the hands of civilians," says Schulman. "Civilians cannot have bazookas. Civilians cannot have surface-to-air missiles. Civilians cannot have tanks. Civilians cannot have grenades. Civilians should not be able to have assault weapons. "

However, opponents say a buyback program would never work.

Andy Chernoff owns Coliseum Gun Traders in Uniondale. He disagrees philosophically with the proposal and also thinks it's impractical.

"Where's the money coming from? No. 2, who's going to evaluate these as to what they're worth? And 3, even if it gets to that point who's going to give them up?," asks Chernoff.

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