Senator Kamala Harris has been polling as one of the leading Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election, and during Monday night’s CNN town hall, she gave voters further insight into her plans around gun violence prevention.
After an audience member asked, “As president, how will you go about keeping our schools safe and keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them?” Harris replied that if Congress failed to pass comprehensive gun safety legislation within her first 100 days as president—including universal background checks and a renewal of the assault weapon ban—she would take executive action to do so.
She told the audience, “We need reasonable gun safety laws in this country, starting with universal background checks and a renewal of the assault weapons ban. But [Congress has] failed to have the courage to act.”
According to Harris’ website, if needed, she would take executive action to:
- Mandate near-universal background checks so anyone who anyone sells five or more guns per year would be required to run a background check on all gun sales
- Revoke the licenses of gun manufacturers and dealers that break the law
- Prevent fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants from purchasing guns
- Close the “boyfriend loophole,” which currently allows some dating partners who have been convicted of domestic violence to purchase guns
While there are currently laws in place that prohibit those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing guns, the law does not always apply when the abuser is a dating partner. However, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, homicides committed by dating partners have been increasing for decades, and women are just as likely to be killed by a dating partner as they are by a spouse.
As her site says, Harris also hopes to ban high capacity magazines, prohibit those convicted of hate crimes from purchasing guns, and make gun trafficking a federal crime.