In the never-ending fight for the role as the nation’s leading anti-gun extremist, David Hogg just became king of the gun ban hill. The Parkland survivor and media hound released this week a draconian gun control plan — dubbed “A Peace Plan for a Safer America” — that makes the 1994 “assault weapons” ban look like the Second Amendment.
Among the usual calls to ban “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines, Hogg and his cohorts at the March for Our Lives call for a multi-step gun and ammunition licensing system, a national gun registry, a mandatory gun buyback, a White House-appointed gun czar, a government-sponsored anti-gun youth organization, and a repeal of the Heller decision.
“The fact that we keep getting caught up in debates and then nothing happens is what’s getting Americans killed on a daily basis,” Hogg told NPR.
The plan is written with an eye towards the winner of the 2020 presidential election and calls for swift and immediate action from the next Commander in Chief.
“On Day One in office, the next President should take two concurrent executive actions,” the plan dictates. “Declare a national emergency around the epidemic of gun violence – both to unlock executive resources and publicly underscore the urgency of the moment – and announce an audacious goal of reducing firearm deaths and injuries by 50% over the next ten years, thereby saving up to 200,000 lives.”
The pro-gun community has voiced its firm opposition to the plan. Lawrence Keane of the National Sports Shooting Foundation found the gun licensing scheme especially problematic.
“You don’t need a license from the government in order to exercise your constitutional right,” Keane said, adding that he finds the proposals “deeply troubling.”
We’ve compiled more details on each of Hogg’s worst proposals below.
National Gun and Ammunition Licensing System
To own a firearm or ammunition, each prospective buyer would have to complete a multi-step approval process. Overseen by “a law enforcement agency,” the process would require background checks along with in-person interviews and personal references. Buyers would also be required to complete a “rigorous” gun safety training course and wait 10 days for each gun purchase.
Licenses would have to be renewed every year upon successful completion of the “annually refreshed requirements in each above area.” Licenses would cost gun owners an unspecified dollar amount, which, the plan assures its readers, “any responsible gun owner would pay into the national licensing system for the ability to possess and use firearms.”
Buyers attempting to make “bulk ammunition and firearms purchases” (definition not specified) would have to pay even higher fees. Such bulk purchases, the plan notes, “have been predicates to the misuse of firearms.”
At the same time, a national registry would be created to “allow for the disarming of individuals who become a danger to themselves or others.”
Other purchasing restrictions include
- Raising minimum age to 21.
- Expand the list of prohibited persons to include any level of domestic violence offenders (protective orders and misdemeanors), individuals with a documented history of violence, individuals convicted of hate crimes, individuals convicted of stalking, and individuals that make a credible and public threat against a specific person or institutions such as schools, churches, or workplaces.
- Limiting purchases to one gun a month (the plan doesn’t explain how this interacts with the higher fees on bulk firearm purchases).
- Prohibiting all online gun and ammunition sales, including gun parts.
There is no grandfather clause in Hogg’s “assault weapons” ban. In fact, Hogg hopes that the next president can implement a mandatory buyback of “assault weapons” along with plans to “incentivize gun owners to reduce their inventory of firearms.”
Ultimately, Hogg wants the United States to reduce “our domestic firearm stock by at least 30 percent.”
“In order to operationalize new laws like an assault weapons ban and a higher standard of gun ownership,” the plan states, “we need to implement a federal gun buy-back program that facilitates compliance with new laws and provides economic incentives for gun owners to responsibly reduce their gun inventory.”
To implement these (and other) gun control policies, Hogg calls for the White House to create a new position: The National Director of Gun Violence Prevention.
Armed with an “experienced” team of federal officials, the gun czar will bypass traditional White House reporting structures and answer directly to the President.
He or she will be responsible for empowering federal agencies like the ATF and the IRS to crack down on gun makers and sellers, and develop programs that “educate Americans on the risks surrounding guns.”
“We have been taught by the gun lobby and industry that guns are safe products,” the plan states. “Quite the opposite is true: the presence of a firearm in your home dramatically increases your chance of death. Working with the CDC and interested advertising partners, the National Director of GVP must launch a public safety campaign around the dangers of firearms.”
As if the gun czar position doesn’t sound tyrannical enough, Hogg also calls for a youth program that will allow other young people to follow in his footsteps.
Likening the program to JFK’s Peace Corps, the “Safety Corps” will put 10,000 young people per year to work on paid, one-year engagements in communities and nonprofits around the country.
Knowing that few of his proposals will hold water in court, Hogg also calls for the repeal of the Heller decision that confirmed one’s individual right to keep and bear arms.
The plan calls Heller “contrary to the historical record” and “the height of judicial activism.” It asks the Department of Justice to reexamine the decision to provide the legal basis for future anti-gun decisions and calls on the next president to appoint a nominee who explicitly denies Heller.
Hogg also echoes anti-gun Senators who have called for the Supreme Court’s “restructuring” in order to, in Hogg’s words, “have a national conversation about strategies to ensure the Court’s independence from partisan political influence and interference.”
So far at least one presidential candidate has backed Hogg’s plan. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, who only last weekend visited a gun show to “include everyone in this conversation,” voiced his support for the Peace Plan for a Safer America and called on all his fellow candidates to do the same.
Following the lead of the students marching for their lives, and for all of ours, we will end this epidemic. I support their Peace Plan For A Safer America—and I call on everyone else in this race to do the same. https://t.co/6BlGa3IWkb— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 21, 2019