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'This point of this plan is to pressure presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, to sign on to it.'
March for Our Lives — the anti-gun organization founded by Parkland, Florida, school shooting survivors and popularized in large part by teenage anti-gun activist David Hogg — has put forward a policy proposal of the kinds of gun control measures it wants to see 2020 presidential candidates embrace.
The group outlined its policy agenda in a new report titled, "A Peace Plan for a Safer America," which is available on its website.
"Everywhere we look, gun violence is decimating our families and communities," the group's report concludes. "We started March For Our Lives to say, 'Not One More.' No more school shooting drills. No more burying loved ones. No more American exceptionalism in all the wrong ways."
The group goes on to calls on "every Presidential candidate for the 2020 election" to get behind the proposal.
The key points of the plan are illustrated by the acronym "CHANGE," which stands for "Change the standards of gun ownership," "halve the rate of gun deaths in 10 years," "accountability for the gun lobby and industry," "name a director of gun violence prevention," "generate community-based solutions," and "empower the next generation."
So how does it plan to do all that specifically? Here is just a sampling of the details contained in the plan:
- Forcing people to get a federal license to buy guns and ammunition, which would require a "multi-step approval process, overseen by a law enforcement agency," mandatory safety training and would have to be renewed annually for a fee.
- Raising the rifle purchase age to 21
- Limiting purchases of firearms to one per month per person
- A ban on online sales and transfers of guns, ammunition and gun parts
- Higher taxes on "the bulk purchase of firearms and ammunition" (though it doesn't define what would count as a "bulk purchase")
- Regulations on how gun owners store their firearms in their own home
- An "assault weapons" ban (though the plan provides no working definition of the nebulous term)
- A ban on "high-capacity" magazines.
- A federal "red flag" gun confiscation law
- A gun buyback program with a goal to reduce "our domestic firearm stock by at least 30%"
- The creation of a new White House office for the "National Director of Gun Violence Prevention" who would have "an experienced team of federal officials tasked with actualizing the goal of saving 200,000 lives" over a decade.
- IRS and FEC investigations of the National Rifle Association regarding the group's tax-exempt status and campaign finance conduct.
- Firearm safety regulation conducted conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission — an independent federal agency of appointed commissioners
The March for Our Lives grew out of the mass murder that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February 2018. Two of its most prominent faces were Parkland survivors and co-founders David Hogg and Emma Gonzales. Another co-founder — Cameron Kasky — left the movement in September, just a few months after its big anti-gun March in Washington.
Hogg told NPR that the policy plan is part of a policy push beyond just raising awareness.
"The fact that we keep getting caught up in debates and then nothing happens is what's getting Americans killed on a daily basis," Hogg said.
He added, "This point of this plan is to pressure presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, to sign on to it."
Some of the points of the March for Our Lives plan have already been embraced by candidates in the 2020 Democratic primary field. Beto O'Rourke supports bringing back the 1994 "assault weapons" ban. O'Rourke and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) both support federal licensing. Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to increase taxes on firearms and ammunition to discourage sales. Furthermore, apparent front-runner Joe Biden says he wants to ban "assault weapons" and has bragged about his role in passing the 1994 "assault weapons" ban and the Brady Bill before that.
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