Vivek Ramaswamy says convicted felons should be allowed to carry weapons.
Appearing on former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s podcast, set to air on Thursday, the Republican presidential candidate was asked to flesh out what it meant to be a “Second Amendment absolutist,” as Ramaswamy has labeled himself.
“Everyone has a gun?” asked Cuomo, once a prominent figure in Democratic Party politics. “Everyone has an assault weapon? A former felon? No background check? Concealed carry?”
“Has the right to,” Ramaswamy responded. “And I do think concealed carry is important, constitutional carry is important.”
He said background checks are “absolutely a legitimate part of the process” but that “law-abiding” gun ownership “deters many violent criminals from being able to roam the streets with guns as they do today.”
Ramaswamy emphasized high crime in cities and inadequate mental health resources while calling for more support for police officers. The discussion of guns was part of a wide-ranging conversation on Cuomo’s “As A Matter Of Fact” podcast.
Ramaswamy, as he has before, endorsed the idea of re-institutionalizing people deemed dangerous and brushed aside Cuomo’s description of a mass school shooting, saying, “That case that you described is not a real case that presents itself very often, compared to real-life violence between a lot of violent criminals in cities who are breaking a lot of other laws.”
Cuomo — who resigned from office amid sexual abuse allegations he has denied — said after recording the podcast: “The Republican candidates all insist on trying to appeal to the ultra conservatives within their own party and take positions that alienate a majority of Americans. Deporting millions of immigrant families who have been here for years peacefully and successfully and arming felons with guns, everyone carrying a concealed weapon, returning to the Wild West, etc. It’s all absurd.”