Michael believes gun violence is a national epidemic that continues to plague communities across the country. He has announced four common-sense priorities that he believes will reduce gun violence and keep guns out of the wrong hands: universal background checks, banning bumpstocks, limiting the size of magazines, and keeping weapons of war off the streets. He strongly supports H.R. 8 and believes we should put pressure on Republicans in the Senate to pass the bill.
We have to end the epidemic of gun violence and invest in communities that have been shattered by the trauma left in its wake. Coming from a community where gun violence is a near every day occurrence, I understand the need for a plan of action that tackles the American problem of gun violence, which is why I’ve come out with a 16-point plan to address gun violence in this nation.
My plan, the most sweeping of any presidential candidate, would keep guns out of the wrong hands with gun licensing, hold gun manufacturers accountable, and bring the fight to the NRA. For more information, see my medium post here (https://medium.com/@corybooker/corys-plan-to-end-the-gun-violence-epidemic-ab377d9fb112).
Stopping senseless shootings is in part the responsibility of the president and congress, and the inaction since Sandy Hook—and even since Columbine when I was in high school—means that something in Washington is broken. I belong to the generation that came of age with school shootings, but gun violence hardly stops there—there are countless stories of tragic deaths that will never make headlines.
The United States must implement laws that raise the standard for responsible gun ownership, beginning with universal background checks as the foundation. Licenses should be required at the point-of-purchase for all gun sales; the “boyfriend loophole” should be closed to protect partners in dating relationships at the same standard as marital relationships; and extreme risk protection orders should be implemented at the federal level to give family and friends concrete steps to disarm a loved one exhibiting dangerous warning signs. We also must hold the gun industry accountable and repeal gun industry immunity, even if that risks re-election and attacks from the NRA. Assault weapons have no place on American streets and should be banned alongside high-capacity magazines and accessories that increase a firearm’s rate of fire. It is the duty of the president and Congress to make the American people feel protected by the country’s gun laws.
The U.S. can and should take meaningful steps to reduce and prevent gun violence and still respect the rights protected by the Second Amendment. Over 97% of the American people support adopting universal background checks, a common-sense safety measure. Congress also should pass legislation to ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and accessories like bump stocks. I will push for every state to adopt “extreme risk laws”, which allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition courts for temporary protective orders to restrict gun access for individuals who pose an immediate risk to themselves or others. Finally, we need to provide funding for CDC research into gun violence.
Mass shootings and gun violence are a national crisis that threaten the safety of our families and communities. We can’t accept repeated tragedies and tens of thousands of deaths every year as normal, and we can’t accept politicians choosing NRA money over Americans’ lives. We must ban assault and high capacity magazines, which allow shooters to keep firing for longer. I cosponsored the Background Check Expansion Act, which would require background checks for all gun sales and transfers, and I have fought for a decade to combat gun trafficking. We must close the loopholes to make sure guns can’t get into the hands of dangerous criminals, terrorists or domestic abusers.
I have never been afraid to stand up to the gun lobby to keep our families and communities safe. That was true in 1994 when I voted for a national assault weapons ban, a vote that contributed to losing my seat representing Washington state’s rural, conservative 4th Congressional District. It’s been true during my tenure as governor – even at the White House, where I confronted President Trump over his determination to arm teachers by urging him to do less tweeting and more listening to teachers and students who want to learn without violence. And it will be true when I’m president.
In Washington state, I’ve implemented three voter-approved initiatives in my state. These initiatives closed the background check loophole, created Extreme Risk Protection Orders so families and law enforcement can temporarily remove firearms from people threatening themselves or others, and banned the sale of semi-automatic rifles to people under the age of 21. I’ve also signed legislation that restricted the manufacture of untraceable 3D-printed “ghost guns”, created new tools to help prevent firearm suicide, that allows for Extreme Risk Protection Orders to be applied to people under the age of 18, requiring safe storage of firearms within the home of a child threatening to harm themselves or others.
These policies are a model for the nation, and are examples of the right way to keep our communities safe – especially students at school, because no child should be expected to sacrifice their lives to save their fellow students.
Bernie believes we can and will end the epidemic of gun violence in this country. We must get money out of politics and take on the NRA to ensure that elected officials act on the desire of voters from both parties for common sense gun reform.
We need to enact universal instant background checks and end “straw purchases” and the gun show loophole. Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines have no place on our streets and must be banned. He supports legislation to ensure we keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers and “red flag” laws, such as the one in place in Vermont, which allow for temporary removal of firearms from those deemed by a state court a danger to themselves or others. He has also co-sponsored legislation for grants given to states to improve handgun licensing programs and to ban the 3-D printing of firearms and bump stocks.
America’s children are suffering from the threat of mass killings and fear of active shooters. Members of our communities suffer gun violence in many forms: homicides, domestic violence, suicides, and police brutality. By and large the American people agree on how we should solve this problem. They want Washington to act, have pleaded with their representatives and have begged them to do something–anything. But the NRA, armed with money and lots of lobbyists, has corrupted our democracy, and instead, Washington politicians write the rules that put corporate profits over people.
I’m running for president to put power back in the hands of the people. I support background checks and extreme risk laws, ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines. We can do so much more on the front end to prevent gun violence, focus on safety and know the signs if someone is in distress, which is why I also support a national licensing program. This will take leadership at the executive level, which is why I will take action at the highest office to coordinate all aspects of this epidemic and across all levels of government, to support proven local interventions and bolster resources at the federal level.
I’m the only 2020 presidential candidate to make ending gun violence the top policy priority. I’m also the only candidate to call for a mandatory national buyback of all military-style semi-automatic assault weapons, to get them out of our communities once and for all, as described in my Assault Weapons Ban Act of 2019. We also must enact truly universal background checks for all gun and ammunition purchases, do more to take guns away from domestic abusers through my No Guns for Abusers Act, and push states to adopt gun violence restraining order laws.
But we also must restore hope to the hopeless in cities where gun violence is a daily, deadly reality. That means making major public investment in schools, job training, and job creation to lift people out of poverty and give them optimism and opportunity for better lives.
And we can both improve the data flow into our background check system and invest more in mental health services to ensure that firearms don’t fall into dangerous hands.
President Trump has a robust record of success and we allow that record to speak for itself www.promiseskept.com.
Gun violence is a national emergency, but right now our government is being held hostage by the NRA. There’s so much we could do to improve safety for our children and for all of us. To start, we need to pass universal background checks, ban military-style assault weapons and bump stocks, and close the gun show loophole. It’s also time to lift the senseless ban on federal research into gun violence, so we can start studying gun violence like the public health crisis that it is. And I’ve called on shareholders of the nine major gun companies to use their financial leverage to ensure the companies they’ve invested in are taking steps to reduce violence – because the gun industry should be held accountable for the gun violence epidemic.
Additionally, I’ve co-sponsored Senator Blumenthal’s Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act and his bill to ensure that all firearms are traceable. I fought hard against the Trump Administration’s decision to allow the online publication of blueprints for untraceable 3D printable firearms, and I released a report with Congresswoman Clark that shows most Massachusetts educators oppose arming teachers – because we should be investing in more counselors and mental health professionals for our schools, not weapons.
The US should focus efforts on gun safety. We need to ensure that every firearm is registered. We need to make sure anyone who wants to purchase or use a firearm is both licensed and educated in their use, similar to the way we treat cars. And we should provide tax credits for anyone who purchases gun-safety items such as a gun safe or trigger lock.
Anyone who wants to purchase or transfer a gun should go through a background check, and that background check needs to be completed. People who have a history of domestic violence, violent mental health issues, or have been arrested for a violent crime should be precluded from purchasing a firearm.
There should also be a “cooling off” period in order to combat the epidemic of suicides in this country, and all locations that sell guns should have information on mental health resources available for individuals in crisis.
Gun manufacturers also need to have safety standards imposed on them, for example they should be required to manufacture guns that are difficult to alter after sale.