Anti-gun U.S. Senator Cory Booker, the New Jersey Democrat who wants to be president, has expanded his recently-announced gun control plan by adding “suicide prevention” to the mix, prompting a leading national gun rights advocate to suggest his scheme faces the same hurdles as he does in his quest for the Oval Office.
“Booker has about as much chance of passing his gun control agenda as he does of being elected president.,” quipped Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Last week, Booker announced a sweeping gun control package. This week, he’s peddling a suicide prevention program that has, at its centerpiece, the implementation of a federal licensing program.
“Cory’s proposal for gun licenses would make it more difficult for those at risk of suicide to purchase a firearm,” says his latest pitch. “If you need a license to drive a car, you should need one to own a gun. Securing a federal license would require a background check, firearm safety training, and an in-person appointment — steps that combine to keep individuals in a moment of acute crisis from acting on their suicidality. Cory’s license plan builds on what works: according to a recent academic study, Connecticut found a 15.4 percent reduction in firearm suicide rates after passing its gun permit law, while Missouri saw a 16.1 percent increase in firearm suicide rate after it repealed its state licensing law.”
Once again, Booker is likening a constitutionally-protected right with a government-regulated privilege.”
He also wants to require “safe storage” of firearms and to “incentivize extreme risk laws.” However, such “red flag” laws are coming under increased scrutiny because critics argue that they suspend due process and consider someone guilty of a crime until they prove their innocence.
Booker may think he’s gaining some traction by championing gun control, but he’s up against California Congressman Eric Swalwell in that arena.
Booker is making some hay with his threat to “Bring the fight to the NRA.” On that subject, he may need to take a number and stand in line, considering the tidal wave of bad publicity the National Rifle Association is receiving lately. Not only has there been the release of several finance-related documents raising questions about expenditures by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, now there is a report in the Florida Bulldog about former NRA President Marion Hammer, the veteran Florida-based gun rights advocate who has been a legislative battler in Tallahassee for more than two decades as head of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation and issued subpoenas, according to CNN. And barely a day has gone by since NRA members gathered in Indianapolis for their annual convention last month.
Some observers believe the controversy could seriously weaken the organization heading into the 2020 election cycle, which will be crucial for American gun owners and their Second Amendment rights. President Donald Trump has been appointing scores of conservative judges to fill vacancies on the lower federal courts, and he has successfully named two conservative associate justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.
NRA Director Lt. Col. Alan West (ret.), the former congressman from Florida, has called upon LaPierre to resign, asserting, “There is a cabal of cronyism operating within the NRA and that exists within the Board of Directors.”
NRA officers fired back, according to the Washington Free Beacon. In a joint statement, NRA President Carolyn Meadows, First Vice President Charles Cotton and Second Vice President Lt. Col. Willes Lee (ret.) had this to say: “It is unfortunate that certain board members have resorted to making false and misleading public statements about proceedings of the NRA board of directors. As those board members know, we are not at liberty to discuss the particulars of the board of directors meeting that occurred in executive session on April 29. However, every board member was afforded the opportunity to speak openly about any issues of concern to them. To suggest otherwise is dishonorable.”
As things stand, Booker’s gun control scheme may be the least of NRA’s worries at the moment, but his proposal could cause headaches for Second Amendment activists if it gathers momentum.
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