Kamala Harris vows to take executive action on guns if elected president.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said at a town hall hosted by CNN on Monday night that if she were elected president she would enact gun control policies using Executive Order if Congress failed to pass comprehensive legislation within the first 100 days of her administration.
The California senator previewed the plan during a town hall Monday night on CNN, and her campaign plans to unveil the full proposal Tuesday, according to a campaign aide.
“Upon being elected, I will give the United States Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to passand if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action and specifically what I would do is put in a requirement for anyone who sells more than five guns a year, they are required to do background checks when they sell those guns,” she said Monday. “I will require for any gun dealer that breaks the law, the ATF take their license.”
Ben Bernier, a University of New Hampshire student, told Harris that he was nervous about becoming a target of a mass shooting as he studies to become an educator.
“I am really bothered that public schools are being targets for mass shootings. Two days ago was the 20th anniversary of the Columbine massacre, but two decades later no major gun control legislation has been passed,” Bernier said. “As president how will you go about keeping our schools safe and keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them?”
“I’m sure there are plenty of students here, while you were in high school, even middle school, that you had to participate in a drill, right, where you were convened and your teachers taught you about how you need to go and run in a closet because there may be a mass shooter roaming the hallways of your school. And in our America that should never have to happen,” Harris said.
“There are people in Washington, D.C., supposed leaders who have failed to have the courage to reject a false choice, which you’re either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take people’s guns away. Supposed leaders in Washington, D.C. who have failed to have the courage to recognize, you want to go hunting, that’s fine, but we need reasonable gun safety laws in this country, starting with universal background checks and the renewal of the assault weapon ban but they have failed to have the courage to act.”
The announcement marks the second policy proposal of Ms. Harris’s presidential run; the first was a federal increase in teacher pay. The two policies dovetail with Ms. Harris’s political wager, which combines her historic status as one of the most viable black women to run for president with a patchwork of incrementally progressive proposals.
CBS News reports:
Harris’ plan would direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to define a “gun dealer” as anyone who sells five or more guns for profit per year, subjecting them to federal laws requiring conduct background checks on all sales. Harris would issue the order if Congress failed to pass universal background checks within her first 100 days in office.
Harris would also reverse a Trump administration policy that narrowed the definition of “a fugitive of justice,” leading to the removal of tens of thousands of names from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Under the current policy, only fugitives who have crossed state lines to avoid charges are prohibited from purchasing a gun. Harris would order the ATF to bar anyone with an outstanding arrest warrant from buying a gun.
The senator’s plan also focuses on a 2005 law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which restricts lawsuits by victims of gun violence against manufacturers and retailers. Harris supports a repeal of the law and, absent congressional action, would direct the ATF to revoke the licenses of manufacturers and dealers who violate negligence, nuisance and marketing laws. Additionally, Harris would order the government to take “the most egregious actors to court for criminal liability.”
Harris would also direct the ATF to issue a regulation closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole” to prevent those convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a firearm. Current law bars convicted abusers from purchasing firearms, but only applies to those who were married to, lived with or had a child with the victim. Continue reading here.