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Cory Booker Wants To Make Gun Owners Get Licenses

The proposal is part of a far-reaching new gun control plan, which Booker said he would begin implementing on his first day as president if he wins in 2020.

Posted on May 6, 2019, at 7:01 a.m. ET

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who’s running for president, is proposing a slate of sweeping executive actions and policy changes to implement gun control measures that have long hit roadblocks in Congress.

Booker’s plan centers around implementing a federal licensing program for gun ownership, requiring gun owners to submit fingerprints and pass a gun safety course to legally possess a firearm.

The plan would also mandate universal background checks on all gun sales, closing the “Charleston loophole” that allows people buying guns from private sellers to bypass background checks in 1 of 5 gun sales across the country, and another loophole that allows people convicted of domestic violence or who are under a restraining order to purchase a gun if they are not married to their partner.

“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.

Booker said he would begin using executive actions to enact his plan to curb gun violence on “day one” as president, should he win in 2020. Last month, Sen. Kamala Harris, who is also running for president, said during a CNN town hall that she would also use executive actions to implement her own proposed gun control measures if Congress doesn’t “get their act together." Harris also proposed universal background checks and ending loopholes for some gun buyers.

The plan would limit gun buyers to only purchasing one handgun per month; ban the sale of assault weapons, bump stocks, and high-capacity magazines; and require gun manufacturers to produce guns with microstamping technology, which would make bullet shells fired from a weapon traceable to a specific gun.

Booker said he would also implement stricter regulations on gun manufacturers by allowing the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue recalls on faulty guns and make safety warnings. Booker also proposed repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which would allow victims of gun violence to sue gun dealers and gun manufacturers for the misuse of their products. Booker said he would call on the IRS to investigate the National Rifle Association’s actions to see if the organization’s tax status as federal tax-exempt 501(c)(4) should be revoked.

The plan would also dedicate more federal resources toward studying gun violence as a public health issue, increase support for survivors of gun violence, and increase funding for violence intervention programs.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.