Eric Swalwell: Keep Pistols and Shotguns but AR-15s Have Got to Go

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) speaks to the crowd during the 2019 South Carolina Democratic Party State Convention on June 22, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. Democratic presidential hopefuls are converging on South Carolina this weekend for a host of events where the candidates can directly address an …
Sean Rayford/Getty

Democrat presidential hopeful Eric Swalwell says he will let Americans keep their pistols and shotguns but AR-15s and other commonly owned semiautomatic rifles have got to go.

Swalwell explains his plan via a campaign video, which is largely a compilation of different gun control proponents making unsubstantiated claims regarding AR-15s.

For example, the video shows a fully automatic rifle being fired in a war zone, as voice over says, “The sames gun being used for wars, like in Afghanistan, are now in the streets.”

By talking about the AR-15 while showing video of a machine gun in action, the video gives the impression that AR-15s are fully automatic. In reality, AR-15s and other commonly owned semiautomatic rifles fire one bullet–and one bullet only–with each pull of the trigger, whereas actual weapons of war can fire an entire magazine of bullets with one pull of the trigger.

Swalwell’s video also shows Cameron Kasky speaking at the March for our Lives gun control event, saying, “Shooting after shooting the American people now see the one thing they all have in common–the weapons.” But AR-15s and similar commonly-owned semiautomatic rifles are not the weapon of choice of mass shooters. A Rockefeller Institute of Government study which examined 50 years of mass shootings found that handguns were the weapon of choice over rifles by a margin of three to one.

The video lists attacks like Sandy Hook (December 14, 2012), Orlando Pulse (June 12, 2016), and Parkland (February 14, 2018), along with the number of people killed in each. These attacks are listed because rifles were used. Attacks like Virginia Tech (April 16, 2007), Fort Hood (November 5, 2009), DC Navy Yard (September 16, 2013), Sante Fe High School (May 18, 2018), and Virginia Beach (May 31, 2019) are omitted because handguns and shotguns were used in those attacks.

Swalwell appears near the end of the video, saying, “I say keep your hunting rifles, keep  your pistols, keep your shotguns, but let’s ban and buyback every single ‘assault weapon’ in America.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at



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