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Beto O'Rourke says owning, using guns taught him responsible use

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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke made a couple of campaign stops in Las Vegas on Sunday, March 24, 2019. (Photo: Beto O'Rourke Campaign)

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke says his personal use and ownership of firearms taught him the responsibility of having guns and can help bridge politically fraught discussions about gun control in the U.S.

The former Texas congressman told The Associated Press in an interview Sunday in Las Vegas that he inherited guns belonging to his great uncle, who had taught him how to handle a firearm responsibly. He says he and his wife, Amy, who grew up on a New Mexico ranch and used guns, made sure their children also knew how to safely handle firearms.

O'Rourke said he'd like to use his personal experience and the traditions of gun ownership in his home state of Texas to "lead the country on sensible gun safety policy" that reduces violence.

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