Kamala Harris Has a Chance to Enact Major Gun Control Legislation

Second Amendment


Photo credit: Ethan Miller – Getty Images

From Marie Claire

On August 11, Joe Biden officially selected Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate for the 2020 election. It’s a historic moment—if she wins, Harris would not only become the first female vice president, she’d also become the first Black woman and first Asian-American woman to hold the position. Her nomination is a milestone in itself.

Now that people have started to vote, it’s important to focus on where the candidates stand on key issues, starting with gun control.

Luckily, Harris has made her position on the gun control debate clear. During her presidential campaign last year, Harris declared that she would sign an executive order “mandating background checks for customers of any firearms dealer who sells more than five guns a year,” per the New York Times, if Congress didn’t take action within the first 100 days. She also stated that she would close the boyfriend loophole and ban assault weapons, and fugitives would not be allowed to purchase any handgun or weapon.

Since making those statements, she has remained consistent on her stance, and emphasized that it’s possible for citizens to keep their Second Amendment rights while also passing effective gun control legislation that could save millions of lives. (For the record, she’s a gun owner. The president keeps tweeting about “saving the Second Amendment” as a scare tactic.) In August 2019, four months after the executive order statement, Harris once again laid out her gun control proposal as president:

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“As president, I will take executive action to:

→Revoke the licenses of gun manufacturers & dealers that break the law

→Require anyone who sells more than 5 guns/yr to run a background check on all gun sales

→Ban the importation of AR-15-style assault weapons”

Of course, there’s a chance these proposals could slightly shift now that Biden is the presidential candidate, but Biden has also maintained a strong stance on gun control. He has a close relationship with Fred Guttenberg, father of Jaime Guttenberg—one of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting on February 14, 2018—and has a history of battling the National Rifle Association (NRA). In 1993, Biden helped pass the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which enacted the federal background check system. The following year, Biden and Senator Dianne Feinstein also passed a 10-year ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Biden and Harris, who have now merged their policies together on their campaign website, detail their full plan to end America’s gun violence epidemic here. Together, the NRA knows the candidates have a powerful stance on gun control. The gun rights advocacy group, which is currently being sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James, attacked Harris and Biden on Twitter immediately following Biden’s VP announcement and claimed that “Harris’s presidential campaign died soon after announcing extreme gun control agendas.”

The NRA’s tweet is false, but quite telling of where Harris stands on gun control. Two hours after Harris was officially selected as Biden’s running mate, Everytown for Gun Safety sent out an email to subscribers stating that “we have the chance to elect the strongest president and vice president for gun safety in American history.”

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