Where Does Each Democratic Candidate Stand On Gun Control?

August 4, 2019 by Douglas A. McIntyre

Source: DmyTo / Getty Images
After two mass shootings in two days, in El Paso and Dayton, the focus of political policy continues to swing sharply to gun control. Most of the current presidential candidates have specific policies although a few do not. 24/7 Wall St. turned to well-regarded research firms and media to learn about the candidates’ positions on gun control.

“Guns & America” and WAMU (American University Radio) are among the organizations that are following the candidates’ policies closely. Each tracks the specific policies of the candidates who participated in the July 30 and July 31 debates. The organization found that 12 candidates have specific policies, seven do not, and in one case the policy of the candidate is unclear. The analysis is as of July 30.

Here is a look at these policies.

Cory Booker His policies fall into three categories, according to his campaign.

1.
The first is that all guns must be licensed. The license could not be issued unless the person receiving it has been certified to have “certain basic safety and training standards.”

2.
Gun manufacturers must be “held accountable”. Booker’s policy describes that as these companies providing safety information, recalls when necessary, and dropping the immunity from prosecution that many have.

3. Finally, Booker has stated he wants to challenge the NRA’s lobbying power.

Pete Buttigieg Argues that there needs to be a balance between the Second Amendment and “sensible” gun laws. Points to suicide as one of the most frequent gun violence problems. Stresses the need for Extreme Risk Protection Orders to make guns more difficult to buy quickly. He also supports an end to the sale of military-style assault weapons.

Joe Delaney Supports:

1.universal background checks

2.An end to the ease with which private sellers can conduct business.

3. CDC gun studies with the goal of building research to prevent violence.

Delaney’s campaign points out that he cosponsored the Assault Weapons Ban Act.

Kirsten Gillibrand Stated policies include

1.Universal background checks

2.Regulations against gun trafficking

3.Laws to keep guns from criminals, “terrorists, and domestic abusers”.

Points our she has challenged gun lobbies repeated. The campaign makes the point that she has been given an “F” grade by the NRA. The lobby defines as “F” rating as one it gives to a “true enemy of gun owners’ rights.”

Kamala Harris Campaign policies are:

  1. Gun violence will be among the issues she will focus on in her first 100 days as President.
  2. Background checks for most gun sales.
  3. Sellers of five or more guns per year checked on each gun sales which is meant to regulate the activity of small gun “dealers”.
  4. Opposes shielding gun companies under the Protection of Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). Gun companies would be prosecuted for any violation of local, state, or federal laws.
  5. Crackdown on the practice of marketing guns to children via video games.

John Hickenlooper  

  1. Reports past track record on opposition to “bump stocks”, online gun sales, and high-capacity magazines.
  2. Supports national gun licenses issued after background checks. Licenses would need to be renewed every three years.
  3. People who want to own guns after legislation is passed would need to be educated in gun safety and storage.
  4. Opposes carry permit reciprocity laws.
  5. Wants specific programs to address gun violence in urban areas.

Jay Inslee 

  1. Supported gun control as Congressman from Washington’s 4th Congressional District in 1994 which his campaign points out was a factor in his failure to be re-elected.
  2.  Since he has been governor, the campaign says, the state’s residents have approved strict gun control laws.
  3. His description of future laws he would propose and support are those which are “common-sense gun safety reforms.”, according to Axios.

Amy Klobuchar 

  1. End all gun show loopholes for unregulated sale of firearms.
  2. End sales of bump stocks, assault rifles, and high capacity magazines.
  3. End ‘boyfriend loophole’ of gun ownership,  a way around the rules for “people convicted of domestic abuse are only prohibited from possessing guns if they live with the victim, have a child with them, are a parent or guardian, or they are, or were once, married to them.”

Beto O’Rourke Policies were articulated in an op-ed piece in The Houston Post, published on May 18:

1. Universal background checks.

2. End to online gun sales.

3. End ability to sell guns at gun shows without regulations.

4. End “boyfriend loophole”.

5. Pass red flag laws to help prevent suicide and ownership which poses a potentially imminent threat to others.

6. On assault weapons–stop selling rifles meant for use in the military.

Bernie Sanders 

1. Completely end the influence of the NRA as a lobbying group.

2. Extensive and universal background checks.

3. End unregulated sales at gun shows.

4. Pass laws to prevent the purchase of guns on behalf of criminals.

5. End all sales of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

Marianne Williamson 

1. Right to bear arms “does not come without rules, regulations, human decency, or common sense.”

2. Favors end to assault rifles, semiautomatic weapons, end to the sale of bump stocks and high capacity magazines.

3. Requires universal background checks which also apply to gun shows.

4. Mandatory waiting period on all gun sales.

5. Child safety locks on all guns.

6. Remove limits on CDC to track gun use.

Andrew Yang 

  1. Federal background check. Includes gun shows.
  2. For hunters, safety course and trigger lock registration.
  3. Semi-automatic rifles. Owners need to be at least 21 and pass an advance gun safety course.
  4. Automattic weapons. Ban high capacity magazines. Need for DNA and fingerprints
  5. Complete restrictions against gun ownership by a history of violent mental illness, domestic abuse, or violence

Guns & America reports that Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Steve Bullock, Julian Castro, Bill De Blasio, Tulsi Gabbard, and Tim Ryan have not made their policies publicly available. According to their reporting, Michael Bennett does not have a clear one. While this may be true, several of these candidates have written on the subject. After the two mass murders this weekend, several have made statements. This includes one by Joe Biden–“Assault weapons and high capacity magazines don’t belong on our streets”. Likely, the number of official policy statements will increase

For more analysis of guns in the United States, 24/7 Wall St. named the 10 cities with the most gun violence.