Posted by 06 May 2019
Cory Booker wants to move from the Senate to the White House. The New Jersey senator is one in a crowded field of Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential nomination. Today he released a gun control plan that aims to separate him from his rivals.
Under the Booker plan, the federal government would impose these new restrictions on gun ownership and purchasing:
- Individuals must purchase a license before being able to buy a gun. This license would last for five years, and would only be able to be purchased by someone who has completed a gun safety course and passed a background course.
- Private firearms sales would be subject to background checks.
- Gun buyers could only purchase one handgun a month.
- There would be a federal ban on “assault weapons,” high-capacity magazines, and bump stocks.
- Firearms would be subject safety regulations under the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Work to repeal he federal law prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers for the misuse of their products.
- Mandate that new handguns must have microstamp technology.
- Public health studies on gun violence would receive funding.
- States would receive incentives to pass legislation institution extreme risk prevention orders, which allow police to seize the firearms of people suspected of causing imminent harm.
- The IRS would investigate the National Rifle Association’s tax exempt status.
Sen. Booker says that these things are necessary to fight gun violence. In announcing this agenda, he said he would work from his first day in office to enact it.
Critics, however, say that this is a huge expansion of federal power over the purchase and possession of firearms. They argue that many of these proposals would be ineffective, merely infringing up on lawful firearms owners’ rights without doing much to stop violence.
As president, Booker could enact some of these items through executive action. Most of the proposals require legislation, however. It remains to be seen if Booker would have a Congress friendly to these ideas if he were elected president.
Do you think that all gun sales or transfers should go through a background check? Should the federal government ban “assault weapons”? Should the government prohibit people from purchasing more than one handgun a month?