Dem Officials Tell Plenty Even By Not Commenting On Gun Licensing

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Sen. Cory Booker is in favor of gun licensing. He wants every gun owner in America to have to get a license, one that will have to be renewed every five years, just to keep the guns we already have.


It’s a huge issue for Second Amendment supporters. Most of us, myself included, aren’t likely to go to visit an office with our hats in hand, just to ask Uncle Sam for permission to keep our property, nor exercise a basic constitutional right.

However, Booker isn’t exactly the frontrunner for his party’s nomination.

When National Review asked other candidates what their thoughts on the licensing proposal was, however, their responses were telling.

But most Senate Democrats tell National Review they can’t comment on the general policy of national gun licensing and registration until they read Booker’s plan.

“We need serious gun-safety legislation, but I have not yet seen Cory’s [plan],” says Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

“I haven’t seen it,” Senator Kamala Harris of California says. “As you know, I’m a proponent of smart gun-safety laws, and I’ve indicated pretty publicly that Congress fails to act.”

Democratic senators Sherrod Brown, Bob Casey, Tim Kaine, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Patty Murray similarly tell NR they can’t comment on the policy because they have not seen Booker’s plan. Booker has served in the Senate since October 2013, but he introduced this plan only a few months into his presidential campaign. (Booker is currently garnering the support of 2.5 percent of Democratic primary voters in an average of national polls.)


“But Tom, you said it was telling. They didn’t say much of anything,” you might say.

The thing is, by not saying anything, they’re saying a lot. You see, not every Democrat played the “I have to read it first” bit.

Senator Jon Tester (D., Mont.), who, like Collins, voted in 2013 against the federal “assault-weapons ban” but backed legislation expanding federal background checks, immediately rejected the idea with a simple “yeah” when asked if he opposes it.

I’ve given Sen. Tester grief in the past, and will probably do so in the future, but in this case, he’s a prime example of what you want to see out of a lawmaker. He dismissed it out of hand.

By not doing so, what all of those Senate Democrats have done is acknowledge that they’re open to the idea. They’re not against the principle, and they’re just not sure if they’ll agree with Booker’s particulars.

And that’s frightening.

While there are pro-gun Democrats out there, at least to some degree, the truth of the matter is that they’re a distinct minority within their party. Further, remarkably few of them are running for public office these days, which means the party is putting up people with a profound anti-gun lean as candidates.


The fact that so few of these Democrats can look at this proposal and dismiss it out of hand is problematic as it suggests that should they gain control of Congress, especially if they hold the White House, that gun control is a foregone conclusion, and we will get restrictions on our God-given and constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms.

They’ve made that clear, even by saying practically nothing.

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