Presidential Hopeful Kamala Harris Promises Swift Action on Gun Control

Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said she would sign executive orders on gun control if elected president in 2020. The presidential hopeful discussed her proposal during a CNN town hall at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire on Monday evening. Harris promised to pass gun control measures during her first 100 days in office if gun control legislation did not pass in Congress.

"Upon being elected, I will give the United States Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws. And if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action," Harris said.

Harris’ gun control proposal was posted to her website on Tuesday. The proposal would “mandate near-universal background checks” for any retailer that sells five or more guns a year, and revoke gun manufacturers and dealers licenses if they break the law. Those sellers would also be taken to court despite their protection under the Protection of Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

The senator’s proposal would also reverse the Trump administration's definition of “fugitive from justice,” which allowed thousands of people with outstanding arrest warrants to purchase firearms, according to Harris’ website. A wanted person is not denied a gun sale unless it can be proven the individual “fled a state ‘for the purpose’ of avoiding charges,” according to Harris’ website, though her guidelines would strike that technicality.

Harris also wants to end the “boyfriend loophole,” which would prevent people convicted of domestic violence from purchasing guns. “We’re not waiting for a good idea — we have good ideas. We’re not waiting for another tragedy — we have seen the worst human tragedies we can imagine. What’s missing is Republicans in Washington having the courage to stand up to the NRA,” the proposal on Harris’ page read.

Earlier this month during a campaign event in Iowa, Harris admitted that she is a gun owner, stating that she owns “a gun for probably the reason that a lot of people do: for personal safety,” The Washington Post reported. In December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 39,773 people were fatally shot in 2017, which is an increase of more than 10,000 people since 1999. The data found that gun deaths in 2017 slightly increased to 12 deaths for every 100,000 people.

A report by Everytown For Gun Safety from April found that the US gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than other high-income countries. It also found Black Americans make up the majority of homicide victims and are 10 times more likely to die by gun homicides than white Americans. The organization's report also noted that Black men are 15 times more likely than white men to be shot and injured by a firearm. Guns are the leading cause of death for Black teens and children, according to the report.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.