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Sen. Cory Booker wants to force every gun owner to get federal license

Senator Cory Booker Meets with Judge Merrick Garland. (Senate Democrats/Flickr)
May 06, 2019

Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey wants gun owners in the U.S. to be licensed by the federal government, according to his new proposal.

Booker said he would use executive order as President to immediately enact a series of changes, including universal background checks, an “assault weapons” ban, and implementing a federal gun license program, CBS News reported Monday.

“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. “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.”

The program would bar anyone from owning a gun until going through several steps to acquire a license, including a mandatory gun safety program.

However, his proposal doesn’t include any insight on what consequences Americans could face if they failed to comply with such a law.

Booker avoided a question directly asked by CNN’s Poppy Harlow about whether his plan would prosecute offenders in the same fashion of his colleague, California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who proposes prosecution for those who violate an “assault weapons” ban, the National Review reported.

“This is not a plan that any law-abiding gun owner should be concerned about, the people that should be concerned about it are two groups; people who want to break the law, gun runners and criminals, and the gun manufacturers who have been working with in an ungodly way to  undermine the safety and security of this nation,” Booker told CBS.

In a lengthy post on Medium, Booker detailed his comprehensive gun control solution, referring to his proposal as “the most forward-leaning this country has ever seen,” and described how the process would mirror that of obtaining a driver’s license.

“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,” Booker explained.

“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 license would be valid for up to five years before renewal with regular, automatic checks to flag non-compliance with license terms,” he added.

Other Democratic Presidential candidates have also proposed universal background checks and “assault weapons” bans, but none have made such an aggressive proposal as Booker has on licensing.