On Tuesday’s debate stage in Ohio, left-leaning adversaries to the sitting president further articulated plans to take the nation down a path of less freedom and more government. But no plan is as antithetical to liberty and constitutionally protected rights than the one being championed by former Texas Congressman Robert “Beto” O’Rourke to confiscate America’s most popular firearms from law-abiding citizens.

When pressed on the plan, now outlined on his campaign website, O’Rourke revealed its implementation would inevitably result in confrontation between law enforcement officers and Americans who lawfully obtained the firearms, putting the lives of both parties at risk.

“To be clear,” asked CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “exactly how are you going to take away weapons from people who do not want to give them up, and you don’t know where they are?”

“If someone does not turn in an AR-15 or an AK-47, one of these weapons of war, or brings it out in public and brandishes it in an attempt to intimidate as we saw when we were at Kent State recently, then that weapon will be taken from them,” O’Rourke said. “If they persist, there will be other consequences from law enforcement.”

Ultimately, O’Rourke is banking on compliance rather than confrontation.

“But the expectation is that Americans will follow the law,” he said. “I believe in this country. I believe in my fellow Americans. I believe they will do the right thing.”

As Reason’s Eric Boehm points out, “All this stuff about Americans ‘doing the right thing’ and following the law is nonsense.”

“There’s no obligation to obey an obviously unconstitutional gun grab,” he writes. “As a practical matter, history suggests most people won’t.”

With O’Rourke furthering the conversation on confiscation, the rest of the crowded stage is embracing the Texan’s other outlandish, tyrannical proposals. For example, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) is now touting an “assault weapons ban,” not unlike the one passed by the Clinton administration.

Other candidates have called for unconstitutional measures like a nationwide gun-licensing system and registry, as well as universal background checks, red-flag laws, bans on popular accessories, and limitations on the amount of ammunition Americans can buy.

Republican State Sen. Bob Hall (Edgewood) is one of a handful of lawmakers to take a bold stand against the policies, saying the state cannot stand to move the line in the sand any further from liberty than it already exists. Hall told Texas Scorecard Tuesday’s debate over gun rights was unsurprising.

“The Democrats on stage last night want to take Texans’ guns,” Hall said. “Beto is simply saying what the rest of the candidates are thinking.”

Texans at the forefront of the conversation about their Second Amendment rights have seen only a small number of leaders, like Hall, willing to stand up to the loud cries of Democrats—and some Republicans. Will they see their rights to self-defense and due process eroded away by gun-grabbers, the lobby, and O’Rourke this election cycle? Will the lives of innocent Americans and law enforcement officers be the cost of such measures if O’Rourke has his way?

Beto doesn’t seem to be bothered either way.

Destin Sensky

Destin Sensky serves as a Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard covering the Texas Legislature, working to bring Texans the honest and accurate coverage they need to hold their elected officials in Austin accountable.