Democrats have not leaned into gun control measures in the wake of the racist shooter’s deadly attack in Buffalo over the weekend, but Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is taking on the issue despite long legislative odds. Booker, along with Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), is introducing legislation today that would require people trying to get a firearm to get a license from the Department of Justice before they can buy or receive a gun.
The DOJ license would require both a written firearm safety test and hands-on training, a criminal background check and submission of fingerprints and proof of identity. The license would only be available to people over 21 years of age, essentially raising the age of gun ownership to 21.
“This is the moment to enact ambitious legislation – as a nation, we must rise to it, or we are fated to witness the deadly scenes of this past weekend and years past over again,” Booker said in a statement. Read the bill text.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a leading advocate for gun safety legislation shares Booker’s sense of urgency and told The New York Times’ Annie Karni that even if legislation cannot clear Congress, Democrats need to talk more about guns, especially with voters.
— Katherine Tully-McManus in Congressional Whack-a-Mole