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Cory Booker on Gun Control

Mayor of Newark; N.J. Senator

 


More people die from gun violence than from wars

Q: Do you have a Republican colleague in the Senate who would be onboard with your idea to get gun licensing done like automobile licensing?

BOOKER: You know, if that was the attitude when Strom Thurmond had the longest filibuster ever on civil rights, if it was this idea that we can't get it done because of the situation in the Senate--

The #1 reason why governments are formed is to protect the citizenry. Think about this. We have had more people die due to gun violence in my lifetime than every single war in this country combined, from the Revolutionary War until now. This is not a side issue to me. It is a central issue to me.

We must awaken a more courageous empathy in this country so that we stand together and fight together and overwhelm those Republicans who are not even representing their constituency. Because the majority of Americans, the majority of gun-owners agree with me, not the corporate gun lobby. It is time for a movement on this issue, and I will lead it.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston , Sep 12, 2019

More people die from gun violence than from wars

Q: Do you have a Republican colleague in the Senate on board with your idea to get gun licensing done like automobile licensing?

BOOKER: 83% of Americans agree with licensing. It was about 20 years ago that I witnessed the aftermath of a shooting. It's why I was the first person to come out for gun licensing. We are never going to solve this crisis if we have to wait for it to personally affect us or our neighborhood or our community before we demand action. I will bring a fight to the NRA and the corporate gun lobby like they have never seen before.

Q: What about getting a Republican colleague in the Senate on board?

BOOKER: The #1 reason why governments are formed is to protect the citizenry. Think about this. We have had more people die due to gun violence in my lifetime than every single war in this country combined, from the Revolutionary War until now. We must awaken a more courageous empathy so we overwhelm Republicans who are not even representing their constituency.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston , Sep 12, 2019

More people die from gun violence than from wars

Q: Do you have a Republican colleague in the Senate on board with your idea to get gun licensing done like automobile licensing?

BOOKER: 83% of Americans agree with licensing. It was about 20 years ago that I witnessed the aftermath of a shooting. It's why I was the first person to come out for gun licensing. We are never going to solve this crisis if we have to wait for it to personally affect us or our neighborhood or our community before we demand action. I will bring a fight to the NRA and the corporate gun lobby like they have never seen before.

Q: What about getting a Republican colleague in the Senate on board?

BOOKER: The #1 reason why governments are formed is to protect the citizenry. Think about this. We have had more people die due to gun violence in my lifetime than every single war in this country combined, from the Revolutionary War until now. We must awaken a more courageous empathy so we overwhelm Republicans who are not even representing their constituency.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston , Sep 12, 2019

Tired of "thoughts and prayers"--this is personal

I hope I'm the only one on this panel here that had seven people shot in their neighborhood just last week. Someone I knew, Shahad Smith, was killed with an assault rifle at the top of my block last year. I'm tired of hearing people all they have to offer is thoughts and prayers.

In my faith, people say faith without works is dead. The reason we have a problem is we've let the corporate gun lobby frame this debate. It is time that we have bold actions. This is not about policy. This is personal.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) , Jun 26, 2019

We require licenses to drive; so require licenses for guns

There's one thing we don't all agree with when it comes to guns, and I think it's common sense, and over 70 percent of Americans agree with me. If you need a license to drive a car, you should need a license to buy and own a firearm. And not everybody in this field agrees with that. But in states like Connecticut that did that, they saw 40 percent drops in gun violence and 15 percent drops in suicides. We need to start having bold agendas on guns.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) , Jun 26, 2019

Evidence-based laws can lower gun violence

I have a comprehensive plan that people say is bold. It's not bold. It's commonsense, evidence-based things that we can do to lower gun violence. You have taken a look at the 16, 17 things we have in my plan that would drop the levels of violence overall, from one-handgun- a-month laws, all the way to investing in the kind of mental health and the kind of community empowerment strategies that would do something about it.
Source: CNN SOTU 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls , Jun 2, 2019

As with civil rights, we can build coalitions for gun laws

This echoes to me the civil rights movement, where people said it couldn't be done, that there were states that were standing firmly against it. But you know what happened is, we had the kind of coalitions necessary to tear down segregation. We could muster that to do commonsense things that do not take away people's Second Amendment rights. The only people that should be afraid of the kind of legislation I'm pushing are gun runners, criminals, and the corporate gun lobby.
Source: CNN State of the Union 2019 interview , Jun 2, 2019

I'm bringing a fight against the corporate gun lobby

If you want someone who's going to take a fight to the corporate gun lobby, take a fight against apathy and indifference, take a fight against the NRA, then I'm your person. I'm an African American male. We're 6 percent of the nation's population, but we make up over 50 percent of the gun violence victims. This is something that's going on all around our nation. Enough is enough. I'm bringing a fight to this. And we will win this fight.
Source: CNN "SOTU" 2019 interview series , Jun 2, 2019

Gun control works; refuse to believe it's not doable

The first way you get this done is stop having a debate on the corporate gun lobby's terms. They've been forming this debate and telling us what we can't do. American history is a testimony to doing things people said was impossible. What you're saying is that we can't solve it. I don't accept that at all. When Connecticut did licensing, their shootings dropped, their murders dropped 40%. Suicides dropped 15%. These are things that have been tried and done and that work.
Source: ABC This Week 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls , May 12, 2019

14-part gun control plan, with criminal enforcement

Booker was asked on CNN about his gun control proposals: "Rep. Eric Swalwell has also, like you, proposed an assault weapons ban. He's proposing a buyback program where Americans could essentially sell these guns to the government, but if they don't, within a certain period of time, they would be prosecuted--thrown in jail, perhaps. Are you supportive of the same?"

Booker responded affirmatively that the law would be enforced with criminal sanctions after a "reasonable period." He had said earlier: "The critical thing is that these weapons of war should not be on our streets." Earlier in the day, Booker unveiled a 14-part gun control plan, which included a ban on assault weapons including high capacity magazines. "The biggest thing in the proposal is a national gun licensing program, which would force Americans to apply for 5-year gun licenses before obtaining a firearm. The process would include fingerprinting, an interview, gun safety courses, and a federal background check," Booker said.

Source: Washington Examiner on 2020 Democratic primary , May 6, 2019

Supports national gun licensing every 5 years

Proposed a 14-part plan that calls for a national gun licensing program, which would force Americans to apply for 5-year gun licenses.
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020" , May 6, 2019

Consensus on common sense gun laws; ready to fight NRA

I am frustrated with politicians who all the best they can muster is to give thoughts and prayers. Gun-owners and non-gun owners agree that we need to have universal background checks and close so many of these loopholes. And the NRA does not represent their membership, because their membership actually agrees with closing those loopholes. I am going to bring a fight like the NRA has never seen if they're going to defend corporate gun manufacturers more than represent the people.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Mar 27, 2019

Require background checks; ban assault weapons

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Feb 1, 2019

Failed to pass gun legislation after Orlando mass shooting

BROKEN PROMISE: Booker attempted and failed as senator to resolve conflicting promises: he promised to fight for gun restrict-ions, but also promised to collaborate with other senators on guns on "day one" (implying "priority"). That forced a broken promise by self-contradiction. There are not enough anti-gun senators to make that a realistic promise on "day one."

ANALYSIS: After mass shootings over past years, Senate Democrats introduced new gun legislation. None passed. Booker pointed out that Congress failed to act "in the wake of Newtown," the 2012 mass shooting, when Booker was mayor. When Booker was Senator, the 2016 Orlando mass shooting occurred, and provided Booker an opportunity to "join with others to make a difference," as he promised--that legislation failed too. Booker and Democrats are aware that they cannot pass gun restrictions nationally on "day one"--which is why they try only in the wake of mass shootings.

Source: Cory Booker 'Promises Broken,' by Jesse Gordon, p. 17 , Apr 1, 2017

Prohibit firearms to suspected terrorists

Sen. Booker co-sponsored S. Amdt 4720 to H.R.2578, the Commerce, Justice, Science, & Related Agencies Appropriations Act> The amendment died in the U.S. Senate on June 20, 2016. Congressional Summary: