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Elon Musk backs ‘tight’ background checks for all gun sales

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Elon Musk speaks on stage throughout the Westworld Featured Session during SXSW at Austin Convention Center on March 10, 2018 in Austin, Texas.

FilmMagic | HBO | Getty Images

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk called for “tight” background checks for all gun purchases while also backing firearm ownership as a “safeguard” against political tyranny — a day after a lone gunman killed at the very least 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in south Texas.

In an email to CNBC, Musk blamed the media for giving murderers the eye he believes they crave by covering mass shootings.

“Regarding recent events, the shooters are obviously doing this to generate probably the most amount of attention possible. Why is the media doing exactly what the mass murderers want?” Musk asked.

Musk’s firms have a giant footprint in Texas. Electric vehicle maker Tesla moved company headquarters to Austin from California last yr as a consequence of the Lone Star State’s less stringent business regulations, and state and native incentives value about $64 million.

Tesla officially opened a large latest vehicle and battery factory near Austin in April.

Musk also runs SpaceX, which launches reusable rockets from Boca Chica, in south Texas.

The CEO has turn out to be more vocal politically in recent months, announcing earlier in May that he plans to vote Republican.

He said in emails to CNBC on Wednesday that he supports “tight background checks” for all gun sales and limiting sales of assault weapons to people in special circumstances, like gun range owners, or individuals who live in a “high risk location, like gang warfare.”

Not less than 19 children and two adults were killed in a mass shooting at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school on Tuesday, one among a spate of mass shootings within the U.S. to this point this yr.

“I strongly imagine that the proper to bear arms is a very important safeguard against potential tyranny of presidency. Historically, maintaining their power over the people is why those in power didn’t allow public ownership of guns,” Musk said in an email to CNBC.

Forbes ranks Musk because the richest person on the earth with a net value of over $200 billion. He’s within the strategy of acquiring Twitter for a deal that was originally value over $40 billion. He has said he would let former President Donald Trump back on the platform if the deal goes through.

Twitter permanently banned the previous president in January 2021 following a siege by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol. On the time, the social media company said it made the choice “as a consequence of the chance of further incitement of violence.”

Trump was an avid user of the platform and had amassed greater than 80 million followers. Musk has much more Twitter followers than Trump did at the moment, including legions of shareholders and fans of his firms.

In Republican-dominated Texas, SpaceX is looking for FAA authorization to expand its Boca Chica facility and conduct launches of its Starship Super Heavy vehicles there. Environmentalists and other local groups have pushed back against a few of the company’s plans.

Musk was recently accused of sexually harassing a SpaceX flight attendant, in line with a report by Business Insider. Musk has denied the allegations.

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who remains to be scheduled to attend the pro-gun National Rifle Association annual meeting on Friday, counts Musk amongst his allies. Trump can be set to attend the NRA meeting. Abbott said last yr in an interview with CNBC that he speaks with Musk “regularly.”

“Elon needed to get out of California because partly of the social policies in California and Elon consistently tells me that he likes the social policies within the state of Texas,” Abbott said on the time, after he introduced a near ban on abortions within the state.

Musk didn’t respond when asked if he would call Abbott to push him to strengthen background check laws on the Texas state level. Democratic lawmakers in Congress have called on their colleagues to pass comprehensive gun-reform measures for the reason that Texas shooting.

In December, one Tesla employee shot and killed a co-worker within the car parking zone of Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California.

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