NSSF: Why Sen. Booker’s License to Drive a Car/Own a Gun Comparison is Bogus

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. (Photo: NSSF)

By Larry Keane

It’s tough to stay relevant in a twenty-way race for the Democratic presidential nomination that’s marked by provocative and far-left ideas, especially when enacting constitutionally suspect gun control.

But don’t ever say U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) doesn’t give it his best effort. His latest gun control proposal ignores basic constitutional protections of Creator-endowed rights and the racist history of the left’s favorite gun control ideas.

Recently, Sen. Booker tweeted “If you need a license to drive a car, you should need a license to buy and possess a gun. Some states are doing this already — and it saves lives.”

Licensing Rights

This proposal has been echoed repeatedly by many presidential candidates so far in this cycle. That’s right. They want you to be licensed by the government to exercise a right for which the U.S. Constitution explicitly forbids the federal government infringement. The first flaw in the senator’s thinking is that such an infringement on the Second Amendment is saving lives. The city of Chicago, for example, requires gun owners to license themselves via the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. If what Sen. Booker had said were actually true, then Chicago would not “consistently (have) more total killings than any other U.S. city” with 27 people killed in the first two weeks of August.

Booker’s statement is not only wrong, but it is also incredibly hypocritical. Earlier this month, the New Jersey senator took to Twitter again to suggest repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which protects the firearms industry from frivolous lawsuits that attempt to hold manufacturers liable for the criminal misuse of a lawfully sold, non-defective firearm. Such attempts to assert liability without any basis in law are preposterous and applied to no other industry. Courts, and everyday Americans, recognize the absurdity of allowing someone who is the victim of a drunk driving accident to sue the manufacturer of the car a drunk driver was operating at the time of the crash. In other words, Sen. Booker wants to treat law-abiding gun owners like licensed drivers but at the same time hold the firearms manufacturers of America to a level of legal liability not ever considered for any other industry.

Sen. Booker clearly does not understand the difference between a constitutionally protected right and state requirements for using public roads. Bearing arms is an inalienable right in this country and a law that would require the government to license who can arm themselves and with what is a direct attack on our rights.

Gun Control’s Racist Roots

It doesn’t end there. Sen. Booker should know the racist history of the gun licensing scheme that arose in the Jim Crow-era South to ensure African-Americans wouldn’t be able to exercise and enjoy their God-given rights. In fact, Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist who challenged slavery and racism, railed against state and local infringement of gun rights for African Americans just one month after the Confederacy’s surrender. State Supreme Courts recognized many of the gun control laws that emerged and grew beyond the South were drafted with the “purpose of disarming” African Americans.

Today, co-founder of Black Guns Matter, Maj Toure, takes his message to inner cities that suffer high crime and explains the racist roots of gun control actually predate America. They were present in French colonial Louisiana. Toure said the “the first gun control rules pop off in Virginia” after Emancipation.

Condoleeza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State, recently defended gun rights on The View, reminding viewers that neither Alabama’s Gov. “Bull” Connor nor Birmingham police would protect African Americans. She explained her father and his friends would fire guns in the air when Ku Klux Klan and “night riders” would threaten their neighborhood.

“I’m sure if Bull Connor had known where those guns were, he would have rounded them up,” she said. “So I don’t favor some things like gun registration.”

Fortunately, America’s millions of law-abiding gun owners will prove at the ballot box that we cannot be swayed by illogical talking points, no matter how frequently they are parroted by out of touch politicians who ignore our constitution and our history.

Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.

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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Dan Gore September 8, 2019, 1:43 pm

    The Democratic party doesn’t care about the fact that they are ignorant of the fallacy of the “driving vs gun owning” analogy. Also “arms” as defined by the 2nd amendment, specifically long and short firearms, even artillery. Just because there wernt any semi or full auto rifles or hand guns in widespread use at the time, doesn’t mean that they are not protected by the 2nd amendment. If the Democrats want to go that route, then we have to treat the whole Constitution that way. Free speech is only given to non electronic media using hand operated printing presses, hand written opinions, or what is spoken. Openly carrying firearms will have to be universally accepted, (no more “gun free zones”👍). Their sacred cow, abortion is also gone! So if they don’t realize what driving on public roads is only a earned privalage, so license a right, which is what they want ,makes it a privalage. So ,by their thinking, voting and speech should also need to be licensed. How ignorant! From the party of open borders, Medicare for none, green new steal,tax the “rich”(anyone who works),and the rest of their stupid American hating ideas! If Americans vote for all of their FASCISTS crap, those who did,deserve the future they will get. If you truly believe in America,better vote against their radical,fascist,socialist agenda.

  • GomeznSA September 6, 2019, 11:35 am

    The “other” factors regarding cars is that in spite of all of the rules and laws and regulations for them – multiple thousands are stolen every year AND people still drive drunk or with no licenses. Oh and car crashes still kill more people every year than guns do…………….

  • SuperG September 6, 2019, 10:49 am

    Cars kill more than guns, yet there is no cry for “car control”. When someone gets run over by one, they do not sue Ford, nor blame the vehicle. Instead, they blame the driver and hold them accountable. So it is just plain childish to blame a different inanimate object for its abuse. I own about 8 guns, and none have ever jumped up and started firing.

  • Big Al September 6, 2019, 10:29 am

    Well, in some States, they give licenses to people who can’t even read English, and wouldn’t otherwise pass the requirements.
    Like that Truck Driver that killed those people on I-70 in Denver recently, who wasn’t a citizen, couldn’t read nor speak English, and didn’t even know how to use a runaway truck ramp, which resulted in those deaths, thanx to the Texas DMV giving him a CDL.
    It would seem even Booker’s contrived theory has holes not even going to the Enumerated rights part of the issue.

  • Keene September 6, 2019, 10:10 am

    I can own all the cars I want with no license whatsoever as long as I don’t endanger others by using them on a public roadway.

  • John September 6, 2019, 9:56 am

    “Bull” Connor was never Governor of Alabama. He was Commissioner of Public Safety for the city of Birmingham.

  • 4570 September 6, 2019, 9:42 am


  • joefoam September 6, 2019, 9:21 am

    Just another in a long line of pandering politicians blathering on about a subject they are totally ignorant about. the low info voter will fall for the rhetoric and wholeheartedly support this guy.

  • KC September 6, 2019, 9:19 am

    Let’s see – by Booker’s logic, treating guns like cars….

    As long as I operate my car on my own property and never on public streets, I can

    1. own whatever type of car I can afford, without regard to horsepower or safety equipment;
    2. avoid any licensure or registration requirements (other than sales taxes on the purchase); and
    3. buy as many cars as I like, when I like, and from whom I like without government interference.

    Booker’s ignorant and misguided, but he may be on to something here. If I can buy a full-on F1 car to run on my backyard track, I think Browning M2 would make a nice companion piece. It may not help me at the mall, but it’ll sure as hell keep the kids off my grass.

  • Mark September 6, 2019, 7:45 am

    uh . . . Senator Booker? You don’t have a constitutional right to drive a car. That’s a privilege granted by the state after you pass what they deem to be the proper requirements. You DO have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms — see the Second Amendment. That’s there to preserve our ability to force a change in the government should it become intolerably tyrannical — that’s explained clearly in the Declaration of Independence. Frankly, you and your party are sure flirting with at least the border of “intolerably tyrannical” at this point. I hope you come to your senses soon, because, as Mr. Justice Felix Frankfurter once wrote “Free men are always on guard against dangers from without. But the real danger to a free society comes from within, from men who are well meaning, but without understanding.” You sir, and your party, are now “well meaning, but without understanding.”

  • Frankie Ammo September 6, 2019, 7:24 am

    Makes perfect sense, for a liberal. After all, Ted Kennedy’s car killed more people than my gun.

  • Halo September 6, 2019, 6:04 am

    Condoleeza Rice for president. She would be two firsts. The first woman president and the first American black president.

    • Jim September 6, 2019, 12:48 pm

      Add retired general powell to that list and I’d say you have a good starting lineup. They could flip a coin to see who runs for president and the other can be VP. If they do a good job after four years they can swap places.

      • Peteyraymond September 9, 2019, 1:53 pm

        Forget General Colin Powell. He turned his back on George W. Bush, and voted for Barry Obama. If Powell was stupid enough to drink Obama’s Koolaid, I don’t want him anywhere near the White House.

  • Halo September 6, 2019, 6:01 am

    Condoleeza Rice for president. She would be two firsts. The first woman president and the first American black president

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