Confronting Gun Violence - On Our Streets, In Our Schools and Across Our Communities

100 Americans are killed daily by guns and hundreds more are shot and injured. The disastrous effects of gun violence extend far beyond these casualties—gun violence interferes with the lives of millions of Americans who witness it, know someone who was shot, or live in fear of the next shooting.

This is NOT just about assault weapons or school shootings.

A New Assault Weapons Ban: Weapons of war have no place in our communities. We need a new assault weapons ban that accounts for how technology has expanded the ways weapons can be produced, distributed and procured - electronic (online) commerce and 3-D printing didn’t exist in 1994 when the last ban was legislated. This should be accompanied by a mandatory federal assault weapons buyback program to get these weapons off the street and out of the hands of those who would use them to end lives.

Expanded Background Check System and Closing the Gun Show Loophole: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has been hamstrung for far too long. We need to expand and invest in the federal background check system to cover all firearm purchases at all points of sale - including gun shows and online purchases. No person should be able to use the spotty background check system to purchase a firearm illegally.

Require Insurance for Gun Owners: If you need insurance to drive a car to work, you need insurance to possess a firearm. Period.

Ban the Transfer of Foreign Funds to U.S. Based Non-Profit Organizations Engaged in Political Activity: The last election found Russian interests investing in the NRA. Countless non-profit organizations in the United States receive funds from foreign organizations that are perfectly legitimate, but to reduce the chance of foreign meddling in our elections we should ban U.S. based non-profits from receiving foreign funds if they are engaged in federal lobbying, issue advocacy or electoral activity.

Refusing $$ from Gun Manufacturers and the NRA: I will pledge to refuse all campaign contributions coming from gun manufacturers and the NRA. The NRA has spent over $3 million dollars electing and protecting Joni Ernst. Their investment has paid off in lives lost in our churches and places of worship, schools, theaters, stores, concerts, festivals, in our homes and communities, on our streets and in gun sales overseas.

Licensing for Guns: States that have implemented licensing have experienced a significant reduction in gun violence. All guns should be properly licensed with renewals every two to five years.

Expand Waiting Periods: Expanding waiting periods for purchase can reduce suicides and other potential violence as a result of impulsive behavior.

Limit Bulk Purchasing: Firearms that are obtained illegally and used in violent ways often come from bulk purchasers that sell them to individuals by avoiding licensing and background loopholes. Purchases of guns should be limited and monitored through licensing.

Reverse laws that let the Gun Industry off the hook: No other industry is shielded from wrongful acts like the gun industry. The Gun Industry should be held to the same standard when it comes to the manufacture and sale of guns.

We need a new assault weapons ban, extension of background checks to cover all gun purchases, red flag laws, and closing the gun show loophole to help reduce gun violence. We won’t be able to solve all instances of violence, but we can address this public health crisis head-on - instead of sticking our heads in the sand along with the National Rifle Association.

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