Los Angeles

Booker, Garcetti Set to Participate in Gun Violence Roundtable

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is scheduled to participate in a roundtable discussion in South Los Angeles Thursday on gun violence prevention where the candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination is set to be joined by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The discussion will be held at Vector90, a co-working space, cultural hub and incubator in South Los Angeles co-founded by slain rapper Nipsey Hussle.

Booker will be at least the second presidential candidate to visit the site. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg toured it July 25.

In May, Booker announced a Gun Violence Prevention Plan he said would "make it harder for people who should not have a gun to get one."

Booker has pledged to take executive action from his first day as president to close loopholes in gun sales, crack down on unscrupulous dealers and gun manufacturers and financially supporting communities impacted by gun violence.

The plan also calls for:

  • requiring people seeking to buy guns to submit fingerprints, provide basic background information during an appointment, and demonstrate completion of a certified gun safety course. The FBI would then verify submission of required materials and run a comprehensive background check before issuing a federal gun license, after which the license-holder could freely purchase and own firearms;
  • allowing the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make safety warnings and issue recalls for faulty firearms;
  • repealing a law protecting firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products;
  • require microstamping technology to be incorporated into new models of semi-automatic handguns sold in the U.S. to trace crime guns as soon as a shell casing is found;
  • closing the "boyfriend loophole" that allows access to guns by physically abusive ex-boyfriends and stalkers with previous convictions;
  • ensuring a background check on every gun sale;
  • banning assault weapons;
  • provide dedicated funding for research on gun violence as a public health issue; 
  • modernizing and strengthening the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives;
  • supporting extreme risk prevention order laws allowing family members or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from individuals showing warning signs of hurting themselves or others;
  • limiting gun buyers to one handgun per month;
  • requiring firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms;
  • increasing funding for community-based violence intervention programs;
  • increasing trauma support for survivors and communities impacted by gun violence; and
  • calling on the IRS to investigate the National Rifle Association's tax-exempt status.

Said Samantha Zager, a Republican National Committee regional communications director: "Cory Booker believes that government overregulation will prevent gun violence, but President (Donald) Trump has taken real steps to ensure the safety of our nation. The president has condemned acts of gun violence, called on 'Red Flag laws' to be instituted to help stop those who pose a risk from possessing a firearm, worked to make changes to the background check process, among so much more. President Trump is taking action to make our country safer."

Trump told reporters Wednesday, "We're going to be doing background checks. We're working with Democrats. We're working with Republicans."

Later he said, "I want guns to be in the hands of people that are mentally stable. And those people, I want them to easily be able to get a gun. But people that are insane, people that are sick up here, I don't want them to be able to get a gun."

Trump later said, "We also have to remember the gun doesn't pull the trigger, a person does. And we have great mental illness."

Booker began his two-day visit to Los Angeles Wednesday by conducting what his campaign billed as a "grassroots fundraiser happy hour" in Palms. Tickets were priced from $15-$500.

"I feel the hurt of folks," Booker said. "I turn on the TV and I feel trauma sometimes. I know we're hurting right now but do not let the darkness of somebody make your soul dark."

Another candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination is also scheduled to be in the Los Angeles area Thursday. California Sen. Kamala Harris will hold a fundraiser at the home of Michael Kives, the CEO of the recently formed media and financial services advisory firm K5 Global, and his wife Lydia, a civil rights attorney.

Tickets are priced at $1,000 and $2,800, the individual donation limit for a presidential candidate.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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