(CBS SF) – One day after formally announcing his intention to run for president in 2020, East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell brought his campaign to Florida on Tuesday, with the issue of gun violence as the focus of his visit.
CBS Miami reported that Swalwell held an event in Sunrise, Florida, not far from Parkland, where 17 people were killed in last year’s mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.
Swalwell was at the BB&T Center pitching his plans to make universal background checks the law of the land, increase mental health spending and ban and buy back assault weapons to get them off the streets.
“Keep your rifles, keep your pistols, keep your shotguns but I believe that we can ban and buy back the 15 million assault weapons in our country,” he said.
In his plan, Swalwell said he wants to give each assault weapons owner $1,000 for their weapon.
The message of ending gun violence resonated with the crowd filled with gun violence survivors, members of gun control groups like Moms Demand Action and families of the Parkland victims, such as Fred Guttenberg.
“You just catapulted gun safety into the forefront of the presidential election,” Guttenberg told Swalwell. “Thank you.”
Swalwell, a three-term member of Congress representing parts of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, announced his run for president on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” Monday night, ending months of speculation.
The representative, who is now among 18 Democrats seeking the nomination in 2020, listed some of the reasons he is compelled to seek the presidency. “I see a country in quicksand, unable to solve problems and threats from abroad, unable to make life better for people here at home,” Swalwell told Colbert.