The Democratic presidential candidates are searching for ways to separate themselves from a very crowded field. Sen. Cory Booker has chosen gun control as one of his many running points, after promising in a speech last month to fight the NRA.
Booker proposes that all gun owners must be licensed by the federal government, including a personal interview and gun training.
No word of how much this new policy would cost American taxpayers, but an interview and gun training might not only costly for taxpayers, but for gun owners as well.
“My plan to address gun violence is simple—we will make it harder for people who should not have a gun to get one,” Booker said in a statement, adding he would use executive action on his first day in office to instate his plan.
Under Booker’s proposal, current gun owners and first-time buyers would be subject to the federal license requirement. He would also ban certain guns from sales.
“As president, we will make commonsense changes to our gun laws such as requiring a license to purchase a gun that includes universal background checks, banning assault weapons, and closing the loopholes that allow domestic abusers and people on terrorist watch lists to get their hands on a gun,” he continued. “I am sick and tired of hearing thoughts and prayers for the communities that have been shattered by gun violence—it is time for bold action.”
Booker compared his plan to getting a passport renewed. There would be a local office for gun licensing. The applicant would go to the office, fill out an application, sit for an interview, and show proof of completion of a certified gun safety course.
Booker also proposes banning assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and bump stocks (which have already been banned by the Trump administration). The senator also wants to increase funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), limit gun buyers to one handgun per month, and have the IRS investigate the National Rifle Association’s tax status.
Currently, thirteen states and the District of Columbia have enacted some sort of licensing requirement for people to buy guns, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. This proposal would supersede any state gun laws, making gun ownership controlled by the federal government.
“I am sick and tired of hearing thoughts and prayers for the communities that have been shattered by gun violence — it is time for bold action,” Booker said in a statement.
The plan would face a steep climb to winning approval from a Democratic House and would face even stiffer resistance in a Republican-controlled Senate, where less-sweeping gun control measures have failed in recent years.