Mayor Bill De Blasio: 'We Cannot Have Assault Weapons in Our Society'

By Susan Jones | September 6, 2019 | 8:15am EDT
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (Photo by Johannes EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

( – New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to ban so-called “assault weapons” and remove those guns from anyone who has one. But he’s not clear on how the second part of that plan would work.

De Blasio, now one of many Democrats running for president, spoke with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Thursday night:

“Look, I think if you get to the point, which we have to in this country, where we ban assault weapons. We've seen a horrifying impact,” de Blasio said.


And Tucker, let me make it very human for you. I run the biggest school system in America, 1.1 million kids. We are doing active shooting drills regularly now. I hear from parents all the time, I go to town hall meetings, they are more worried now about their kids than I've ever seen because they really think an active shooting situation could happen because it's become a norm in this country.

And obviously that almost always involves assault weapons. We've got to end of the availability of assault weapons in this country. So I think if there was a ban on assault weapons and there was a buyback program, the vast majority of people I think would do the smart thing and they would sell them back.

Carlson objected, "But millions wouldn't -- so you would have law-abiding people like me and like a lot of people I know who have hunting rifles that fall under the assault weapon category, and the cops would show up and say give us your gun and they would say no and you would have -- unfortunately, tragically you would have cases of violence. Are you okay with that?”

“I'm being honest with you,” de Blasio said:

"I think anyone in public life should say, you know, when we think we have an answer or whether there's still something we need to work out. What I know is this. We cannot have assault weapons in our society. We've seen the devastating impact. They need to be banned.

"And that means by definition that you don't leave millions and millions of them out there. The buyback is the obvious approach for it. How we deal with someone that doesn't want to participate in the buyback -- that's something we have to resolve going forward, but to me the logic you start with --"

Carlson interrupted, asking de Blasio if he has a definition of "assault weapon."

“I think the fact is that I'm someone who understands under the Second Amendment,” de Blasio replied. “There are going to be plenty of appropriate weapons that people can use for self-defense, for hunting, if they're sportsmen, if they're marksman -- there's all sorts of weapons that still would qualify for people to have,.

“But the military-grade assault weapons, those just don't belong in the hands of everyday people.”

Carlson again: "Would you subject your bodyguards to the same limitations as other American citizens?" he asked.

De Blasio responded that the question "makes no sense whatsoever."

Carlson noted that de Blasio, as mayor, gets free bodyguards. "I don't," he said. And they've got magazines that I can't protect my family with --does that bother you as a champion of the little guy?" Carlson asked.

“Tucker, someone who serves in public service for a limited period of time -- and in the society we are living in, I hate to say it, public servants are vulnerable to violence in a different way,” de Blasio said.

"A lot of us are vulnerable," Carlson cut in.

“Absolutely,” de Blasio agreed. But our law enforcement officers are there to protect all of us, and they need to be armed.

"Does it bother you that you get certain guns to protect yourself and your family but I can't use those to protect my family?” Carlson asked.

"Listen. I spent my whole life until very recently as an average citizen with no different protection than you or any other American for a very brief period of my life ...and I survived," de Blasio said.

Here they argued about whether Di Blasio will have bodyguards when he leaves office. De Blasio said he won't.

"But the point is, let's go back to what we were talking about," de Blasio said. "There should not be assault weapons endangering children in America, period. And whatever we have to do ...They should not be easily available to so many people and they are. They just are. And it has to end. It has to end."


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