TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Democratic Presidential hopeful, Beto O’Rourke, visited Arizona Sunday, hosting town halls in Phoenix and Tucson.
Gentle Ben’s, a bar near the University of Arizona, hosted the event. Security there said around 700-800 people attended the event either inside or outside of the property listening in. The line to get in started well before the event.
The former Texas Congressman walked into the crowded room upstairs wearing a hat and a button down. Wasting no time, he spoke about gun control, a hot topic as he recently hit headlines for his “hell yeah” comment. O’Rourke said he will invoke mandatory buy-back of AK-47s and AR-15s.
“Keep that on the battle fields, and keep that **** out of our lives,” said O’Rourke during his speech.
He called for background checks and so-called “red flag” laws that allow police, family or other authorities to take away guns from people showing signs of violence with guns. For Anis Taylor, a senior at the University of Arizona, this stood out to her.
“I like him,” said Taylor. “He definitely impressed me. He talked a lot about gun control issues.”
O’Rourke also touched on his immigration policy. He said he wants to create a safe, quick, legal path for immigrants to come the US.
“As president, I would stop all construction on the border wall,” said O’Rourke. “We must get to work on rewriting our immigration laws.”
Many cheered as he made his remarks, but still some voters are on the fence.
“I think it’s great to hear all of the candidates speak. I think you can’t just hear something from one person and say ‘I’m on their team,’” said Taylor. “I’m not sure yet.”
Lucia Meinit-Reeves is only a sophomore in high school but wanted to learn more about the candidate from Texas.
“I have been pretty firm on Cory Booker from the beginning …so right now I’m sort of in between the two,” said Meinit-Reeves.
O’Rourke has been behind in many polls, but he will be one of 12 Democratic candidates to take the stage in Westerville, Ohio for the Oct. 15 debate.