Cory 2020
For Immediate Release:

May 6, 2019

Cory Booker Announces Most Sweeping Gun Violence Prevention Plan Ever Put Forth by a Presidential Candidate

Gun Licensing Is at Center of Booker’s Comprehensive Plan To End the Gun Violence Epidemic

At Newark Hometown Kickoff Last Month, Booker Pledged To “Bring a Fight to the NRA Like They Have Never Ever Seen Before”

Newark, NJ – To make justice real for everyone, we must end the epidemic of gun violence. Today, Cory Booker is unveiling the most sweeping gun violence prevention proposal ever put forth by a presidential candidate. 

The plan starts with a simple idea: if you need a license to drive a car, you should need a license to buy and possess a gun. Cory’s plan would implement a national gun licensing program. A mounting body of evidence shows that gun licensing programs are effective at reducing gun violence

For example, in Connecticut, researchers found a 40 percent drop in gun homicides and 15 percent reduction in firearm suicides after the state passed a law that required a purchasing license for handguns. Massachusetts, a state with a gun license program, had 3.6 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2016, compared to neighboring New Hampshire, which had a gun death rate of 9.9 per 100,000 people and does not have a comprehensive gun licensing program.

“In my community, kids fear fireworks on the Fourth of July because they sound like gunshots. In communities across the country, from Newark to Charlotte, from San Diego to Chicago, and everywhere in between, Americans are being killed and families are being torn apart. We must do better. We need to do better. 

“My plan to address gun violence is simple - we will make it harder for people who should not have a gunto get one,” said Cory Booker. “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. 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.”  

Cory’s plan to end the epidemic of gun violence includes a comprehensive list of policy changes he would pursue as president that will keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them, hold the gunindustry accountable, and reduce gun violence. See below for details: 


Keep guns out of the wrong hands with gun licensing:

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 safety and training standards necessary to own a gun. The proposal to enact minimum standards for gun ownership builds on rigorous evidence at the state level demonstrating the connection between gun licensing and reduction in gun violence.

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 during an appointment, and demonstrate completion of a certified gun safety course. 

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. 

Recognizing that many states have already implemented state licensure programs, states could continue to do so, provided that they meet baseline federal standards.

Bring real regulation and oversight to gun manufacturers: 

Nowadays, there is more regulation over toy guns than real ones. While medicine, children’s toys, and any number of other consumer products are subject to regulation by the federal government, firearms are exempt. In other words, gun manufacturers have little incentive to make their products safer.  Cory will work to close this loophole in federal oversight and allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure gun safety by making safety warnings and issuing recalls for faulty firearms. 

End legal immunity that prevents victims of gun violence from seeking justice: 

While civil liability can be applied to sellers and manufacturers of nearly every product, as a result of a 2005 law the gun industry is immune from nearly all lawsuits. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) allows the gun industry to ignore public safety implications of the misuse of their products such as gun trafficking. Cory will fight to end gun industry immunity by repealing PLCAA and allow victims of gun violence to have their day in court when a gun dealer or manufacturer has acted negligently.

Require handgun microstamping:

Microstamping is technology that allows law enforcement to identify the source of ammunition used in crimes by making a shell casing traceable to the specific gun that fired the round.  Unfortunately, in many cases, there is little evidence left behind at crime scenes, resulting in a homicide “clearance rate” of just 62 percent. Microstamping technology would allow law enforcement to trace crime guns as soon as a shell casing is found, helping to prevent future crimes from occurring. Cory will fight to require that microstamping technology be incorporated into new models of semi-automatic handguns sold in the United States. 

Close the “Boyfriend Loophole”:

While current law forbids a spouse or formerly married partner convicted of abuse or under a restraining order from purchasing a firearm, the same commonsense rule does not always extend to non-felony abuse at the hands of dating partners or former dating partners. The risk of homicide in a domestic violence incident increases by 500% with the presence of a gun. Cory will make closing the “boyfriend loophole” a top priority.

Ensure a background check on every gun sale by closing the loophole on gun show and online sales and the so-called “Charleston loophole.” 

Background checks are foundational to any gun safety policy, but loopholes in current law allow individuals to purchase guns in private sales from strangers without a background check. Current law requires that federally licensed firearms dealers conduct background checks on individuals seeking to purchase a firearm in commercial transactions, but prohibited purchasers—such as criminals and domestic abusers—can exploit this loophole simply by finding an unlicensed seller. More than 90 percent of American voters—and nearly 70 percent of NRA members—support universal background checks.

Ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and bump stocks:

Large capacity ammunition magazines and assault weapons have been present in many mass shootings in the US, made for no other purpose than to kill people quickly and efficiently. 

Provide dedicated funding for research on gun violence as a public health issue:

For the first time in modern history, the CDC announced that deaths from gun violence surpassed automobile accidents.  Automobiles have become safer, in part, as a result of federal investment in research, but Congress has not provided federal funds to research gun safety. After nearly two decades of shameful inaction, Cory will make a significant investment into research on gun violence, including into evidence-based approaches to reducing gun suicide.

Modernize and strengthen the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF):

As a result of relentless lobbying by the gun lobby, the ATF is drastically underfunded and has its hands tied. According to reporting by the New York Times, in the year beginning in October 2016, while more than half of inspections of licensed firearm dealers were cited for violations, less than one percent led to the loss of a license. Cory will increase funding at ATF and will repeal the restrictive riders on ATF’s budget that restrict law enforcement’s ability to investigate crimes and crack down on gun dealers. 

Support extreme risk prevention order laws:

An extreme risk protection order (ERPO) empowers family members or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from individuals showing warning signs of hurting themselves or others. Cory will incentivize states to pass ERPO laws, along with robust due process protections.

Limit gun buyers to one handgun per month:

Limiting bulk purchases of firearms is essential to combating gun trafficking. Under current federal law, which contains no limit on the number of firearms one can purchase, traffickers will make bulk purchases in states with weak gun laws and then resell in states with stricter rules.

Require firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms:

Researchers estimate that the majority of lost or stolen firearms are never reported, which limits the ability of law enforcement to trace the source of guns used in crimes. When law enforcement is able to trace a crime gun to the purchaser of record, he/she will often claim that it was lost or stolen to deny responsibility. Cory will take the commonsense step to require gun owners to report their lost and stolen firearms, building on evidence that shows a correlation between the enactment of state reporting laws with major reductions in illegal gun trafficking.  

Ramp up funding for community-based violence intervention programs:

Cory will direct new federal funding to support evidence-based programs similar to those he supported as mayor of Newark. According to a recent report by the Giffords Law Center, adopting a strategy of relationship-driven social services and more narrowly-targeted law enforcement interventions allowed Oakland, CA to cut annual shootings and homicides in half.Additionally, Cory will provide grant funding to local law enforcement to combat gun violence to adopt new technology, including acoustic gunshot detection systems.

Increase trauma support for survivors and communities impacted by gun violence:

Cory will fight for resources and support for families and communities impacted by the scourge of gunviolence.

Call on the IRS to conduct an investigation into the NRA’s tax status:

Currently, the NRA is exempt from federal tax under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Cory is calling on the IRS to investigate whether certain activities recently reported in the news media should lead to revocation of its tax-exempt status.  

Finally, beginning on Day One in office, Cory will take executive action to build on ongoing efforts and take concrete steps forward--closing dangerous loopholes in gun sales, cracking down on unscrupulous dealers and gun manufacturers, and investing in communities impacted by gunviolence
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Cory 2020
For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2019

ICYMI: Cory Booker Lays Out Sweeping Gun Violence Prevention Plan

Newark, NJ – Today, Cory Booker released the details of his proposal to end the epidemic of gunviolence. The plan -- the most sweeping gun violence prevention proposal ever put forth by a presidential candidate -- includes a list of policies that would keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, hold the gun industry accountable, and reduce gun violence.  

Read some excerpts of the coverage of the policy:

Vox: Cory Booker now has the most ambitious gun control proposal of any 2020 candidate

On Monday, Booker unveiled his proposal to tackle America’s gun problem as part of his bid for the presidency, detailing a plan that sets a high bar for the rest of the Democratic field.

His plan includes the typical Democratic proposals: universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, better enforcement of existing gun laws, and more funding for gun violence research.

But Booker’s plan goes further by requiring that gun owners not just pass a background check but obtain a license to be able to purchase and own a firearm. This is a far more robust gun control proposal than any other presidential candidate has proposed. The idea has solid research behind it, and real-world experience in nine states that currently require a license or permit for at least handguns, including Booker’s home state of New Jersey.


Not only is it the most sweeping gun control plan out of the 2020 Democratic candidates, but it’s among the most far-reaching of any presidential campaign ever.

CBS: Cory Booker unveils "bold" plan to curb gun violence

Democratic presidential candidate and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker introduced a sweeping gun violenceprevention plan. If elected, the campaign announced Monday that on day one of his presidency, Bookerwill use executive action to close gun sales loopholes and to make investments in communities affected by gun violence.

The plan, which is the most extensive gun violence prevention proposal put forth by a presidential candidate to date, prioritizes a gun licensing program whereby gun owners would be required to obtain a gun permit and pass an FBI background check. Under the proposal, the gun permit would be valid for up to five years.


Peter Ambler, the Executive Director of Giffords, which is a gun violence prevention advocacy group, said Booker's plan is not an "off the shelf plan," but is "bold, smart and thoughtful."

"This is, you know, workable, and I think it would lead to a real effect on our gun violence epidemic in this country," Ambler said.

Ambler added that this plan highlights Booker's courage and commitment to running on gun violenceprevention reforms to address the gun violence epidemic, while also attracting primary and general election voters with this policy.

The New York Times: Cory Booker’s Gun Control Plan Calls for National Licensing Program 

Aspects of Mr. Booker’s 14-part plan are among the most progressive gun-control measures suggested by a candidate seeking the Democratic nomination for president, and are likely to face sharp criticism from gun-rights advocates like the National Rifle Association.

HuffPost: Cory Booker Releases Sweeping Plan To Combat Gun Violence

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, released a sweeping plan to combat gun violence on Monday, proposing a national gun licensing program, a ban on high-capacity weapons and bump stocks and an IRS investigation of the National Rifle Association.


Gun advocates praised Booker’s plan for increasing federal funding for violence intervention programs. A recent study from Giffords, the gun control group, found the implementation of an intervention program in Oakland, Calif. was able to cut the city’s homicide rate in half.

“It’s a bold, thoughtful plan that signals that Cory is planning on making gun safety a major part of his campaign, and if elected, his presidency,” Peter Ambler, the executive director of Giffords, told HuffPost in a phone interview. “He’s willing to confront gun violence in all its forms. He’s not just paying attention to the active shooter in the school, he’s paying attention to the walk to school in urban environments throughout the country.”

CNN: Cory Booker unveils 'sweeping' but 'simple' gun violence prevention plan

The proposal would make gun licenses the federal standard, similar to a driver's license or a passport -- requiring fingerprints, an interview, and completion of a gun safety course.

His plan also calls for banning assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks; expanding background checks to include purchases from unlicensed sellers, and closing the "Charleston loophole" that enabled Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof to purchase a gun when the FBI did not complete his background check during the mandatory three-day waiting period.

Booker calls for a holistic approach that would also designate funding for research on gun violence and community-based programs, while increasing the budget for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, among other ideas.

In addition to a laundry list of changes that would require action by Congress, likely to pose a heavy political lift, Booker would also take executive actions beginning on his first day as president, his campaign said.

USA Today: Cory Booker wants to start national gun licensing program, limit firearms purchases

Democratic presidential hopeful Cory Booker on Monday unveiled a sweeping plan to reduce gun violencethat includes establishing a national gun licensing program, limiting individual purchases of firearms to one per month, and placing a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

The 14-point plan from the New Jersey senator, who has previously vowed to “bring a fight” to the National Rifle Association, will almost certainly face opposition from gun rights advocacy groups.

To read more details of Booker’s policy, click here
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