Massachusetts Senator and 2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren unveiled her latest policy plan over the weekend, proposing to combat gun violence by tripling the tax on firearm sales, plus an even higher tax on ammunition.
The plan was released via a blog on Medium and comes in the wake of back-to-back mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that saw 31 people killed. Warren claims her plan, signed into law via executive action and legislation, will reduce gun deaths by 80%.
“In 2017, almost 40,000 people died from guns in the United States. My goal as President, and our goal as a society, will be to reduce that number by 80%,” she wrote. “We might not know how to get all the way there yet. But we’ll start by implementing solutions that we believe will work. We’ll continue by constantly revisiting and updating those solutions based on new public health research. And we’ll make structural changes to end the ability of corrupt extremists to block our government from defending the lives of our people — starting with ending the filibuster.”
Here’s what Warren’s plan will look like, and these are the actions she would take via executive order:
- Require background checks for gun purchasers who buy at gun shows or online
- Apply the 18-and-up age restriction on gun purchases to more sales
- Close the so-called “boyfriend loophole” – current law bars abusive spouses from obtaining weapons, but does not apply to all abusive dating partners
- Direct the attorney general to prosecute unlawful gun trafficking and investigate the National Rifle Association for alleged corruption
- Direct the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to revoke the licenses of gun dealers that are found to routinely violate the rules
And here’s what she will leave to Congress:
- Create a federal licensing system for the purchase of any type of gun or ammunition
- Boost the excise tax on handguns to 30% from 10% and on ammunition to 50% from 11%
- Establish a one-week waiting period for all gun purchases
- Increase the minimum age to 21 for all gun sales
- Prohibit anyone convicted of a hate crime from owning a gun
Warren also would budget $100 million each year for the Justice Department and Health and Human Services to research the “root cause of gun violence and the most effective ways to prevent it.”
Warren of course laid most of the blame on the National Rifle Association.
“Not only have we not passed meaningful legislation in almost a generation, but thanks to the NRA, for decades Congress prohibited federal funding from being used to promote gun safety at all, effectively freezing nearly all research on ways to reduce gun violence,” Warren wrote. “Last year, Congress finally clarified that the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) could in fact conduct gun violence research — but provided no funding to do so.”
Congress has done next to nothing when it comes to gun control legislation in recent years. However, President Donald Trump said Friday he is in talks with Congress about “meaningful background checks,” but that he also is in talks with the NRA “so that their very strong views can be fully represented.”