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Cory Booker rolls out sweeping gun control plan requiring classes, federal licensing program

The national license would need to be renewed every five years

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) unveiled his aggressive national gun control proposal on Monday, which would require every prospective gun buyer in the United States to pass a certified firearm safety course and obtain a federal license prior to purchasing.

What are the details?

Booker's "plan to end the gun violence epidemic" aims to "keep guns out of the wrong hands, hold gun manufacturers accountable," and "bring the fight to the [National Rifle Association]."

The 2020 hopeful laid out a multi-prong initiative that includes the federal licensing requirement, promising swift executive action on his first day in office. Under his plan, prospective gun buyers must successfully complete a government-mandated class, submit fingerprints, undergo a comprehensive FBI background check, and apply for a license in similar fashion to obtaining or renewing a passport.

The license would be valid for five years, "with regular, automatic checks to flag non-compliance with license terms."

Under the plan, gun buyers would also be limited to purchasing one handgun per month in order to prevent "bulk purchases." So-called "assault weapons" and "high-capacity magazines" would be banned entirely, but the plan does not clarify which firearms and accessories would fall under those categories.

The proposal would also strengthen the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in order to carry out compliance of the sweeping regulations.

Booker also promises to seek the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, in order to "allow victims of gun violence to have their day in court when a gun dealer or manufacturer has acted negligently."

The former mayor of Newark, N.J., also wants to close the so-called "boyfriend loophole." Under current federal law, anyone with a restraining order from a spouse or former spouse — or who is convicted of domestic abuse — is prohibited from purchasing a firearm. Under Booker's proposal, anyone guilty of abusing "dating partners or former dating partners" would fall under the same restrictions.

Anything else?

Booker is trying to make good on his recent promise to "bring a fight like the NRA has never seen," and calls for the Internal Revenue Service to "conduct an investigation into the NRA" to determine "whether certain activities recently reported in the news media should lead to revocation of its tax-exempt status."

One last thing…
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