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2020 Democratic candidates speak at Unidos US conference in San Diego

Posted at 12:08 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 19:43:31-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Democratic presidential candidates took direct aim President Trump and the nation's gun laws at the Unidos US political conference in San Diego Monday.

“We don't need thoughts and prayers out of Washington. What we need is strength and some resolve that we haven't seen yet,” said former Vice President Joe Biden.

In an interview, candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders renewed calls for an assault weapons ban but acknowledged uwpards of 10 million are already in civilian hands.

“That is more than the United States military has,” Sanders said. "We have to immediately ban the sale and distribution; I think we ought to take a hard look about licensing these weapons for the people who own them."

Sanders added a buyback program would also be an option.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar said the Democrats are dealing with a powerful gun lobby.

"I come from a hunting state, I come from a law enforcement background, but when I got to the Senate I couldn't believe the power of the NRA and the power of the other groups that have tried to stop that in the track,” she said.

Candidates also criticized President Trump for his anti-immigration rhetoric, saying it has lead to an increase in white nationalism across the U.S.

“We are all equal and should be treated that way. We are the ones who are making those words real and making those words live,” Sen. Kamala Harris said.

Unidos US also released a scientific poll of 1,800 Latino likely voters. About 78 percent of them said their biggest concern was how President Trump and his allies treat immigrants, and worry it will get worse.