2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, who has been spending time in his hometown of El Paso, Tx. after the devastating, racially-motivated mass shooting, said on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he supported a national gun licensing program. He’s not the only one taking that stance.
“We should do it. We should have a national licensing program in this country,” O’Rourke said on the show.”I have listened to my fellow Americans, my fellow Texans, my fellow El Pasoans. This makes sense. It will save lives.”
If O’Rourke is elected president, he says he will implement a national licensing program with red flag laws, universal background checks and closing loopholes, “we can end this epidemic of gun violence that will claim more than 40,000 lives this year, happening every single day in almost every single community.”
When asked about the oft-used argument that gun reform won’t stop gun violence if criminals can buy illegal guns, O’Rourke pushed back.
“Then why pass any law, and why be a nation of laws? I think we pass those laws that we know will improve our lives, save lives, protect our fellow Americans. And then we have to vigorously enforce those laws. And, as, president I would.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg have also supported a gun licensing program.
Massachusetts has long been touted as an example for the rest of the country to follow in regard to gun reform. In Massachusetts, to obtain a gun the person has to get a permit to purchase a gun from the local police department Obtaining this permit can take weeks and includes paperwork, an interview, a background check, and, even if you pass all of that, the police chief can deny the license anyway, Vox reports.
It’s a strict system, but one that future presidents could use for a solution to America’s big gun problem.