As part of what he calls “the most sweeping gun violence prevention proposal ever advanced by a presidential candidate,” Senator Cory Booker (D-N.Y.) says he wants to force all gun owners to obtain federal licenses.
Booker’s plan, released Monday, also calls for a raft of other restrictions and regulations on firearms, new spending to combat gun violence, and an investigation into the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) tax status.
The heart of Booker’s proposal is, he writes, “a simple but effective idea: Licenses for guns.” Individuals wishing to purchase firearms would first have to apply for a federal license, submitting fingerprints, background information, and proof that they have completed “a certified gun safety course.” Assuming the individual passes a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check, he would then be issued a license to own guns — a license that would have to be renewed every five years.
“Just as a driver’s license demonstrates a person’s eligibility and proficiency to drive a car, a gun license demonstrates that a person is eligible and can meet certain basic safety and training standards necessary to own a gun,” argues Booker.
There are, of course, major problems with Booker’s contentions. First, the Second Amendment states unequivocally that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Forcing people to get Washington’s permission to own guns would clearly be an infringement of their rights. It would also open the door to denying people their rights for political or other reasons. In fact, Booker’s plan also includes “incentivizing” states to pass laws enabling the disarming of citizens deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.
Second, there are distinct differences between state-issued driver’s licenses and Booker’s proposed federally issued gun licenses, observes the Washington Examiner:
There are no requirements for car owners to get licensed or registered at the federal level, but Booker is proposing moving to federal licensing for guns. People are allowed to drive a car without a license on their own private property, but Booker wouldn’t allow unlicensed gun owners to purchase guns for their own self-defense or sporting use on their own property. A person can obtain a driver’s license by passing an easy test, and it typically can’t be revoked for misconduct that does not involve driving, whereas Booker wants to require strict FBI background checks and to expand the categories of people whose gun rights could be stripped away by government. Driver’s licenses issued in one state are recognized by all others, and there aren’t restrictions in driving one’s car to another state, but that is not the case with guns. Also, there is no waiting period to purchase a car, as there is with a gun.
Booker proposes further restrictions on gun owners. He wants to close the so-called gun-show loophole and the “boyfriend loophole” that prevents the disarming of abusive dating partners, not just spouses. He favors a ban on “assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and bump stocks.” He hopes to limit people to buying one handgun per month.
Meanwhile, he wants to impose more regulations on the firearms industry, including requiring handguns to microstamp all bullets they fire, letting the Consumer Product Safety Commission regulate the industry, allowing people to sue gun makers or dealers for negligence, and increasing funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and giving the agency more leeway.
All of this, he claims, will “make it harder for people who should not have a gun to get one.”
“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 This Morning.
However, as numerous studies have shown, the overwhelming majority of guns used in crimes are not obtained legally, so the only people who have much to fear from Booker’s proposal are the law-abiding. But considering the other tyrannical plans Booker has for America, is it any wonder that gun control is one of his top priorities?
Image of Cory Booker: Screenshot of YouTube video by Cory Booker