Julian Castro on Gun Control

Democratic Presidential Challenger (withdrawn); former HUD Secretary


No mandatory buybacks--it means more cops banging on doors

Q: Sen. Warren supports voluntary buybacks of assault weapons; Sen. Harris supports mandatory buybacks. Rep. O'Rourke supports mandatory buybacks, but said police wouldn't be going door to door. Your opinion?

Julian Castro: There are two problems I have with mandatory buybacks. Number one, folks can't define it, and if you're not going to door to door, then it's not really mandatory. But also, in the places that I grew up in, we weren't exactly looking for another reason for cops to come banging on the door. And y'all saw a couple of days ago what happened to Tatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth: cops showed up at 2 in the morning at her house when she was playing video games with her nephew. He didn't even announce himself, and within four seconds he shot her and killed her through her home window. She was in her own home. And so I am not going to give these police officers another reason to go door to door, because police violence is also gun violence and we need to address that.

Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate , Oct 15, 2019

The answer to mass shooting is not more guns

We need to enact common sense gun reform. This happened in Texas, where we have concealed carry, we have open carry, we have campus carry, we have one of the highest rates of gun ownership. That shooter knew that he was walking into a situation where a lot of folks there could be carrying a weapon. That didn't stop him. The answer is not more guns. The answer is to make sure that these weapons of war don't get into the hands of people who go and use them on the street.
Source: ABC This Week interview for Democratic 2020 Veepstakes , Aug 4, 2019

Whole slew of gun measures most Americans support

We need to do a whole slew of things, from ensuring that we have universal background checks, to limiting the capacity of magazines, to ensuring that we have red flag laws out there that are able to catch individuals who may represent a danger to themselves or to other people. We also need a renewed weapons ban, so that these semiautomatic weapons, these weapons of war, are not out there on the streets. And most Americans, I believe, support these kinds of measures
Source: CNN State of the Union interview for 2019 Democratic primary , Aug 4, 2019

Yes on gun licensing, but also red flag laws

Q: Do you support gun licensing?

CASTRO: I do think that we have to strengthen our laws when it comes to knowing who has these guns, when they're sold, who do they change hands into. But we also have to combine that with things like red flag laws that give courts the ability to take guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them in the first place, people who represent a danger to themselves or to somebody else.

Source: CNN State of the Union interview for 2019 Democratic primary , Aug 4, 2019

Voluntary buyback, despite their mixed success

Julian Castro on Assault Weapons: Support a voluntary buyback program.

FIVE CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Steve Bullock; Peter Buttigieg; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan; Andrew Yang.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, as mayor of San Antonio in 2012, supported renewing the federal assault weapons ban following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Castro said during a CNN town hall that he supports "things like gun buybacks," adding: "I know that they have had mixed success, but I believe that in some circumstances that's a good policy, and that we can recover some weapons that shouldn't be out there on the street."

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

Dems can get common sense gun reform in 2021

I believe that, on January 20, 2021, at 12:01 p.m., we're going to have a Democratic president, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate. We may not have seen yet legislative action, but we're getting closer. The House took a vote. In the Senate, the question often is, if the decision is between 60 votes, a filibuster, or passing commonsense gun reform, I'm going to choose commonsense gun reform. So I believe that we're going to be able to get that done in 2021.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) , Jun 26, 2019

Sensible gun laws, and address mental health issues

I have been a strong supporter of commonsense gun reform. We need to make background checks universal. There's no reason that somebody who has committed domestic violence should ever get their hands on a gun. We also need to limit the capacity of magazines.

I also support looking at this issue of gun violence more broadly. We need to invest in mental health as part of health care. It's about things like mental health that touch on what leads people to use guns in a bad way.

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 11, 2019

Supports background checks at gun shows & assault weapon ban

Castro wants to ensure that background checks and waiting periods are enforced at gun shows. He supported Sen. Dianne Feinstein's, D-Calif., push for an "assault weapons ban." The bill sought to regulate the ownership of semiautomatic weapons, which include any weapon that only requires the release of its trigger to reload. It also targeted weapons with detachable magazine and certain grips.
Source: Townhall.com: "The 2020 Democrats" (presidential hopefuls) , Feb 4, 2019

Ban assault weapons

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Jan 12, 2019

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Other big-city mayors on Gun Control: Julian Castro on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: Mar 25, 2021