On Wednesday, January 20, Kamala Harris will not only become the first female vice president, but she’ll also become the first Black woman and first Asian-American woman to hold the position. Harris has made her position on the gun control debate clear: During her presidential campaign last year, Harris declared that she would sign an executive order “mandating background checks for customers of any firearms dealer who sells more than five guns a year,” per the New York Times, if Congress didn’t take action within the first 100 days. She also stated that she would close the boyfriend loophole and ban assault weapons, and fugitives would not be allowed to purchase any handgun or weapon.
Since making those statements, she has remained consistent on her stance, and emphasized that it’s possible for citizens to keep their Second Amendment rights while also passing effective gun control legislation that could save millions of lives. (For the record, she’s a gun owner.) In August 2019, four months after the executive order statement, Harris once again laid out her gun control proposal as president:
“As president, I will take executive action to:
→Revoke the licenses of gun manufacturers & dealers that break the law
→Require anyone who sells more than 5 guns/yr to run a background check on all gun sales
→Ban the importation of AR-15-style assault weapons”
Of course, there’s a chance these proposals could shift now that Biden is the president-elect, but Biden has also maintained a strong stance on gun control. He has a close relationship with Fred Guttenberg, father of Jaime Guttenberg—one of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting on February 14, 2018—and has a history of battling the National Rifle Association (NRA). In 1993, Biden helped pass the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which enacted the federal background check system. The following year, Biden and Senator Dianne Feinstein also passed a 10-year ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Together, the NRA knows that Biden and Harris have a powerful stance on gun control. The gun rights advocacy group, which is currently being sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James, attacked Harris and Biden on Twitter immediately following Biden’s VP announcement and claimed that “Harris’s presidential campaign died soon after announcing extreme gun control agendas.”
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