Cory Booker’s national gun licensing proposal is a desperate bid to save his dying presidential campaign. (Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) proposes national gun licensing as part of his presidential campaign. In essence, Booker wants all Americans to get a federal license to buy a gun.
Specifically, you will need to pass a background check and take a firearms safety course to buy a gun under Booker’s proposal, The New York Times reports. In addition, Booker wants to ban “bump stocks,” limit bulk purchases of firearms, and make it illegal for people on the terrorist watch list to buy guns.
“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 says in a press release. However, Booker does not clearly identify the people who should not have guns.
You Will Need An Interview To Get A Gun
Booker also wants to require the government to interview all applicants for gun licenses.
Notwithstanding, The Times does not say what questions authorities will ask gun buyers. Moreover, Booker does not say how questioning buyers will keep guns out of bad guys’ hands.
In addition, authorities will fingerprint firearms license applicants to verify their identity. Booker, though, does not say what government agency will conduct the interviews or background checks.
Is Federal Gun Licensing Constitutional?
Booker’s gun licensing may never go into effect because it could violate the Second Amendment. After all, even legal scholars are uncertain about the constitutionality of federal gun licenses.
Booker’s licensing “would likely comport with current Second Amendment doctrine,” Jake Charles tells Newsweek. Charles is the executive director of the Center for Firearms Law at Duke University.
“Many states have licensing or permitting requirements, and courts have generally upheld these against Second Amendment challenges,” Charles notes. Courts currently allow gun licensing as long as governments do not ban gun ownership. In fact, gun licenses are legal as long as they are available to all law-abiding citizens.
Presidential Candidate Wants To Destroy The NRA
Notably, Booker wants the IRS to investigate the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) tax-exempt status, The Times reports.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James is presently reviewing the NRA’s businesses to see if they meet the requirements for tax exemption, The New York Times reveals. To elaborate, James can prosecute the NRA for tax evasion if they find it to be operating a commercial business and not paying taxes.
Booker wants the IRS and the U.S. Justice Department to join James’ investigation as well. Essentially, Booker and James want to destroy the NRA by forcing it to pay taxes.
Meanwhile, the NRA is facing a leadership crisis in which outgoing President Oliver L. North accuses longtime chief executive Wayne LaPierre of mismanaging the group’s finances. Nevertheless, there is no evidence at this time that James’ investigation caused the North-LaPierre feud.
Can Gun Control Save Cory Booker’s Campaign?
Booker’s gun licensing proposal is a desperate bid to save his dying presidential campaign. In particular, just 2% of likely Democratic primary voters support Booker despite lots of media attention, as an April 14 Emerson Poll reveals.
Moreover, such minor candidates as Andrew Yang (D-New York) and Julian Castro (D-Texas) are out-polling Booker. For instance, social media favorite Yang and former Obama cabinet member Castro each received 3% of the vote. Meanwhile, front runner and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) now receives the support of 29% of Democrats according to Emerson Polling.
Cory Booker is the former Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Garden State voters elected him to the U.S. Senate in 2012. Only time will tell if gun control can save Booker’s presidential hopes. Nonetheless, gun control is very unlikely to save an establishment figure like Booker in a primary in which angry voters prefer radical left-wing insurgents.
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