“If Congress won’t take action, then I will use executive powers to orient the federal government to take action to address this public health crisis,” Steyer said in a statement. “It is past time that we take real action for families who have lost loved ones, the students that practice live shooter drills in their classrooms, and the communities across America torn apart by gun violence.”
What would the plan do?
Steyer’s plan calls for instituting universal background checks, enacting “red flag” laws, closing several gun sale “loopholes,” banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and establishing mandatory waiting periods for the delivery of guns following their purchase.
Steyer would push for creating a gun licensing system, national assault weapons registries, and voluntary buyback programs for all firearms — not just assault weapons.
Steyer also says his administration would designate “a special Office on Gun Violence Prevention” to coordinate oversight efforts at the federal, state and local levels of government.
Steyer’s plan lists several “structural reforms” intended to curb the power of special interest lobbying. Among those measures, Steyer supports overturning the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, calling national referendums on issues related to gun safety, restructuring the Federal Election Commission, and expanding voter registration and voting access.
How much would it cost?
Steyer’s plan includes no final price tag for taxpayers, but does call for increased levels of government spending across several agencies.
Steyer says he will “invest in wraparound services that address the full spectrum of challenges faced by gun violence survivors … through targeted programs on mental health treatment, trauma care, drug treatment, voluntary self-prohibition, and mentoring.”
Some of the programs Steyer wants to “directly fund” include law enforcement training efforts and gun violence research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.
How would he pay for it?
Though it’s not immediately clear how Steyer would finance his reforms, he suggests that at least some of the initiatives would pay for themselves. His plan claims that “gun violence costs each American roughly $700 a year, totaling $229 billion across the country.”
What have other Democrats proposed?
Several Democratic presidential candidates have rolled out their own comprehensive gun reform plans in recent months. All of the party’s White House contenders favor universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s support for a mandatory buyback of assault weapons and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s endorsement of a gun licensing program are among the proposals that have received significant media attention in the primary.
Who opposes it?
Steyer’s plan is likely to meet stiff opposition from the National Rifle Association, lobbyists representing gun manufacturers and congressional Republicans.