Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has drawn fire from the National Rifle Association (NRA) after she suggested at a recent campaign event that she would consider a gun buyback program.
“Recently, Australia managed to get away, or take away tens of thousands, millions of handguns. In one year, they were all gone. Can we do that? If we can't, why can't we?” a man asked Clinton at a town hall meeting in Keene, New Hampshire, on Oct. 16, according to Al Jazeera.
“I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level if that could be arranged,” Clinton said in response, The New York Times reports.
“I do not know enough details to tell you how we would do it, or how it would work,” the former Secretary of State added. “But certainly your example is worth looking at.”
The NRA shot back almost immediately.
Chris Cox, the organization’s chief lobbyist said in a statement that her remarks confirmed the fears of gun owners that her “extreme views are completely out of touch with the American people," according to The Times.
“The real goal of gun control supporters is gun confiscation,” he added. “Hillary Clinton, echoing President Obama’s recent remarks on the same issue, made that very clear.”
The questioner was likely referencing the Australian buyback policy that was put in place following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in which a gunman killed 35 people, according to the Al Jazeera.
After the shooting, Australia banned a variety of semi-automatic and automatic weapons and introduced a 12-month amnesty program in which 640,000 guns were bought back by the government.
“By offering to buy back those guns, they were able to curtail the supply and set a different standard for gun purchases in the future,” Clinton said in response to the question on Oct. 16.
But the NRA holds a different view.
“The Australian and U.K. ‘buybacks’ were merely an attempt to mollify firearm owners whose property had been declared contraband and subject to seizure," a news post on the NRA's website reads.
“If you own a gun now, take heed," the post continues. "President Obama and now Hillary Clinton finally made clear what they’re really after – national gun confiscation."