(CNSNews.com) - "This president, every chance he has ever gotten, has tried to undermine the Second Amendment," Sen. Marco Rubio said at Thursday's debate in South Carolina, hosted by Fox Buiness Network.
Rubio said he's convinced that Obama would "confiscate every gun in America" if he could, even though "the last line standing between them (terrorists) and our families might be...a gun."
Rubio was the third of seven Republicans on the debate stage to be asked about guns. Both Jeb Bush and Donald Trump said they would defend the Second Amendment. Bush said the focus should be on people who commit crimes with guns; Trump emphasized that guns also protect the innocent, and he agreed with Bush that mental health should be a main focus.
Moderator Neil Cavuto then asked Rubio: "You said that President Obama wants to take people’s guns away. Yet under his presidency, gun sales have more than doubled. That doesn’t sound like a White House unfriendly to gun owners."
"That sounds like people are afraid the president’s going to take their guns away," Rubio responded. The audience applauded.
"Look, the Second Amendment is not an option. It is not a suggestion," Rubio continued. "It is a constitutional right of every American to be able to protect themselves and their families. I am convinced that if this president could confiscate every gun in America, he would. I am convinced that this president, if he could get rid of the Second Amendment, he would. I am convinced because I see how he works with his attorney general, not to defend the Second Amendment, but to figure out ways to undermine it.
"I have seen him appoint people to our courts, not to defend the Second Amendment, but to figure out ways to undermine it.
"Here’s my second problem. None of these instances that the president points to as the reason why he’s doing these things would have been preventive. You know why? Because criminals don’t buy their guns from a gun show. They don’t buy their guns from a collector. And they don’t buy their guns from a gun store. They get — they steal them. They get them on the black market.
"And let me tell you, ISIS and terrorists do not get their guns from a gun show." (Laughter and applause)
"If there’s an act of violence in America, his immediate answer before he even knows the facts is gun control. Here’s a fact. We are in a war against ISIS. They are trying to attack us here in America. They attacked us in Philadelphia last week. They attacked us in San Bernardino two weeks ago. And the last line standing between them and our families might be us and a gun."
Cavuto challenged Rubio on whether Obama really intends to "take away everyone's gun."
"I’ll give you a fact," Rubio responded. "Well, let me tell you this. Do you remember when he ran for president of the United States, and he was a candidate, and he went and said, 'These Americans with traditional values, they are bitter people, and they cling to their guns and to their religion.' That tells you right away where he was headed on all of this.
"This president, every chance he has ever gotten, has tried to undermine the Second Amendment.
"He doesn’t meet — here’s the difference. When he meets with the attorney general in the White House, it’s not 'how can we protect the Second Amendment rights of Americans.' It’s 'give me options on how I can make it harder for law-abiding people to buy guns.'
"That will never happen when I am president of the United States."