Children should be able to learn without fear of being gunned down in their school. Worshipers should be able to pray without fear of being murdered in their mosques, synagogues, churches, and places of worship. All of us should be able to live without fear of losing our lives at movie theaters, in night clubs, at concerts, or on the street.
All countries have video games. All countries struggle with mental health. All countries deal with hatred. But only America has more guns than human beings — 390 million firearms in a country of 329 million people — which kill nearly 40,000 people every year. Following the lead of the moms demanding action and the students marching for their lives, and for all of ours, Beto believes we can end this epidemic.
That’s why he has released the most ambitious plan in the race to reduce gun violence—a plan that would: implement universal background checks, which have been proven to reduce violence; close loopholes, like the Boyfriend Loophole and Charleston Loophole; passing red flag laws, so people who have a tendency to harm themselves or others don’t have access to firearms; and addressing existing suffering, by increasing trauma support; and keeping weapons of war on the battlefield by not only banning the sale of assault weapons, but and implementing a mandatory buyback of every single one of themRead our full plan
Beto believes Congress needs to act on gun violence, but he will not hesitate to use Executive Action. As president, he will:
- Reverse the Trump administration’s policy of allowing fugitives to purchase guns. In January 2017, Trump’s DOJ set a new policy for FBI and state background check operators that prohibited them from denying gun sales to fugitives without knowledge of their whereabouts or state of mind. This resulted in an 80% drop in denials to fugitives.
- Undo regulatory action that allows access to the 3D printing of plastic guns. In 2018, Trump made it easier to make firearms at home using 3D printers by allowing the widespread production of 3D gun blueprints. ATF is now reporting a surge in unserialized firearm recoveries at crime scenes, stating that 30% of guns recovered in California are unserialized.
- Direct ATF to deem any individual or business that sells over 5 guns in a single year a gun “dealer.” Dealers are subject to background check requirements, and the loophole that allows non-dealers to conduct private sales of firearms allows people to buy guns who wouldn’t otherwise be allowed to do so.
- Provide ATF with the resources it needs to ensure adequate oversight of the gun industry. As a result of lobbying from the NRA, ATF has been underfunded and restricted in its ability to perform sufficient oversight on the gun industry. Beto will work with Congress to ensure that the budget includes robust funding for ATF’s regulatory oversight functions and removes budget riders that will unduly burden the agency’s ability to do its job.
Beto believes politicians should answer not to PACs, lobbyists, or corporations, but to the people. As president, Beto will:
- End influence of NRA in stifling progress on gun violence prevention. Our system is broken when lawmakers are more representative of special interests like the NRA than people they were elected to serve who are being gunned down in their places of worship, schools and neighborhoods. As president, Beto will sign into law the No PAC Act, which he introduced as a Member of Congress, which would ban PAC contributions to Members of Congress or those seeking federal office.
Beto believes when we have systems that can save lives, we must adopt them nationally. As President, Beto will:
- Create a nationwide gun licensing system and registry. Beto will work with Congress to create a nationwide gun licensing system that will ensure individuals seeking a gun undergo an assessment by law enforcement and a background check. Individuals must be 21 years old to receive a license, will be required to complete a certified gun safety training, and will need to renew their licenses every five years. Individuals will also be required to register their guns through a registry and all new handguns will be microstamped. In recognition of the country’s long hunting tradition, those under 21 with hunting licenses will be able to lawfully possess firearms for hunting. States will have the flexibility to administer their own licensing systems, allowing them to set higher standards. Where a state does not have a system in place, the federal government will administer the system.
Beto believes everyone should have to undergo a background check before purchasing a gun. As president, Beto will:
- Require universal background checks at point of purchase. The vast majority of Americans support background checks for individuals seeking to purchase guns, yet only 12 states and Washington, D.C. have adopted universal background checks. In order to receive a gun license, individuals would be required to undergo a background check.
Beto believes weapons of war should be kept on the battlefield, not trained on our communities. As president, he will:
- Ban Assault Weapons, Trigger Cranks, Silencers, Bump Stocks, and High-Capacity Magazines. Since the assault weapons ban expired in 2004, mass shootings have skyrocketed and become deadlier. Beto will work with Congress to ban the manufacturing, sale, and possession of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
- Implement a national buyback program for banned assault weapons and handguns. Weapons of war belong on the battlefield, not in our communities or on our streets. Beto is calling for a mandatory buyback program for assault weapons and voluntary buyback for handguns. To create a funding stream for buybacks, Beto will increase the excise tax on gun manufacturers and fines imposed on gun traffickers, and will enable ATF to purchase any banned assault weapons presented to the agency. Individuals who fail to participate in the mandatory buyback of assault weapons will be fined.
- Make it harder for people to stockpile weapons. As president, Beto will limit individuals to one gun purchase per month and direct ATF to deem any individual or business that sells over five guns in a single year a gun “dealer.” Dealers are subject to background check requirements.
Beto believes people who have exhibited a tendency to harm themselves or others shouldn’t have access to firearms. As president, Beto will:
- Implement Extreme Risk Protection Orders, also known as Red Flag Laws, and close loopholes so domestic abusers, those who pose a threat to themselves or others can’t get guns. As president, Beto will establish a federal red flag law, allowing police departments in states without red flag laws to petition in federal courts to have weapons removed from those who present a danger to themselves or others. Beto will also work with Congress to close loopholes that allow dangerous individuals and domestic abusers from accessing guns, including the private sale loophole, the boyfriend loophole, and the Charleston loophole.
Beto believes no one should be able to use loopholes to purchase firearms they otherwise wouldn’t be able to possess. As president, Beto will:
- Close loopholes, like the Boyfriend Loophole, gun show loophole, online loophole, and the Charleston Loophole.
Beto believes that gun violence is not just a problem, but a public health crisis. As President, Beto will:
- Declare gun violence a public health emergency. When 40,000 people a year die of gun violence, it is an emergency. Beto will use executive powers to direct his Surgeon General to recognize gun violence as a public health crisis and will invest $320 million annually for the CDC and NIH to study gun violence.
Beto believes we must confront the movement of guns in our country, that too often end up on the black market or used in crimes. As President, Beto will:
- Make gun trafficking a federal crime. America’s weak gun laws have contributed to the spread in gun violence abroad. Currently, individuals who traffic multiple guns to individuals prohibited from firearm possession or through straw purchases are often only able to be prosecuted for a paperwork violation. As President, Beto will address this by making gun trafficking and straw purchases federal crimes.
Beto believes we need to support those who have been harmed by gun violence—and support communities aiming to combat this epidemic. As president, he will:
- Address existing suffering by:
- Increasing trauma support
- Provide funding for community-based public education around firearm safety and firearm suicides; and
- Provide funding for community-based violence retrenchment programs, equipping violence interrupters with the support they need to change behavior at the local level.
- Increase funding for the CDC and NIH to conduct research on gun violence. Because of lobbying from the NRA, Congress has passed budget restrictions aimed at chilling federally funded research on gun violence. As President, Beto will invest $320 million annually for the CDC and NIH to address the gaps in our ability to study gun violence.
Beto believes the gun industry must be held accountable to both consumers and the public. As President, Beto will:
- Repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Revoke the protections offered by this law, which shields firearm manufacturers and dealers from liability when their products are used to commit crimes.
- Restore Consumer Protection on Gun Safety. As President, Beto will support the Firearm Safety Act which restores the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s jurisdiction over firearms and firearm component safety regulations.