New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, whose campaign for the Democratic nomination for president has been greeted by voters with a collective shrug, is now turning to one of America’s most explosive issues.
Booker currently comes in a distant seventh in the current crop of candidates, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls. Booker carries an average of 2.4 percent support and has only surpassed 5 percent support in two polls since March 1.
Booker announced his 14-point anti-gun plan Monday on Medium.
“We won’t wait for more thoughts and prayers for communities that have been shattered by gun violence — from Pittsburgh to Parkland to Charleston to communities where kids fear the fireworks of Fourth of July because to them they sound like gunshots,” the post from his campaign reads.
“We will pass universal background checks. We will ban assault weapons and close the loopholes that allow people who should never have a gun to get one. We will bring a fight to the NRA like they have never ever seen before. And we will win,” the post declared.
One of the major initiatives in the plan to address what Booker called America’s “gun violence epidemic” is Booker’s gun licensing proposal.
“Individuals could seek a gun license at a designated local office, widely available in urban and rural areas, similar to applying for or renewing a passport. They would submit fingerprints, provide basic background information, and demonstrate completion of a certified gun safety course,” the campaign said.
“The FBI would then verify submission of required materials and run a comprehensive background check before issuing a federal gun license, after which the license-holder could freely purchase and own firearms,” the post said. The license could be renewed after five years, and would subsume existing state licensing systems into one federal one.
Naturally, the proposal had plenty of critics.
The man who has never done anything of note in his life decided an American citizen shouldn’t be able to buy a gun unless licensed by the Federal Government. Now that probably sounds great to a liberal, but not so much to a person who actually thinks!
— W.F. (BILLY) BENNETT (@bbennettiii) May 6, 2019
What other rights in the Constitution will we need a license for?
— Eric Lopez (@ericplopez) May 6, 2019
Booker is also gunning for the firearms industry, and wants to repeal a 2005 law that protects gun makers when their products are misused.
“The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) allows the gun industry to ignore public safety implications of the misuse of their products, such as gun trafficking. Cory will fight to end gun industry immunity by repealing PLCAA and allow victims of gun violence to have their day in court when a gun dealer or manufacturer has acted negligently,” the campaign post said.
Booker’s plan would also limit handgun buyers to purchasing one gun per month.
“This is a bigger issue in America where we’re not approaching it or taking it on in proportion to the gravity of the consequences of our inaction,” Booker said Monday on CBS.
Other parts of the plan include banning bump stocks, which have been declared illegal administratively by the Trump administration; imposing handgun microstamping; and passing laws to limit access to guns by domestic abusers and people on terrorist watch lists, The New York Times reported.
Booker also wants to take on the National Rifle Association.
“Currently, the NRA is exempt from federal tax under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Cory is calling on the IRS to investigate whether certain activities recently reported in the news media should lead to revocation of its tax-exempt status,” the campaign said in its post.
Gun control is a major part of the campaigns of other Democratic presidential hopefuls, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris and California Rep. Eric Swalwell.
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