Democratic Presidential candidate Eric Swalwell on Tuesday announced his sweeping new firearm regulation platform to the acclaim of national gun control advocates.
Swalwell, a former prosecutor who has represented the San Francisco area in Congress since 2013, is one of more than two dozen officially announced candidates scrapping for the Democratic nomination to the White House next year. This week, in front of the headquarters of the National Rifle Association in Virginia, he debuted his “National Framework to End Gun Violence” to a small crowd.
“I will fight like hell to give people a reason to live, foster a culture of hope in every neighborhood, regulate firearms and ammunition to protect communities and police officers, and ban semiautomatic assault weapons,” said Swalwell, who last year wrote an op-ed for USA Today advocating a return to the federal assault weapons ban followed up by strong enforcement actions to go after those not in compliance.
Would-be President Swalwell’s new 3,100-word plan is wide in scope, proposing not only a “ban-and-buy-back” on many types of semi-automatic firearms but also adding layers of additional red tape to gun and ammunition manufacturers and retailers while requiring lawful gun owners to be licensed, registered with the government, and seek additional training under threat of prosecution.
Among the plan’s 65-points are:
- Outlawing civilian possession of “military-style semiautomatic assault weapons” with an exception for guns maintained by shooting ranges and hunting clubs. This would include a “buy back” followed by criminal prosecution for anyone found in violation of the prohibition.
- Suppressors, magazines capable of holding more than 10 cartridges, and bump stocks would be totally banned for civilian ownership, with a government buy back similar to that on semi-auto firearms put into effect.
- Add a 48-hour waiting period to gun purchases.
- Require gun owners to report a lost or stolen gun within 24-hours.
- Establish national gun storage standards that include “smart tech” coupled with a mandate for owners to comply with such requirements.
- Expanding mandatory gun surrenders to include dating partners and family members subject to protective orders, even prior to their hearings.
- Prohibit states from arming teachers.
- Implement background checks for all firearm and ammunition purchases and set a buying limit of 200 rounds of ammo per 30-day period per person. This would be coupled with a maximum storage allowance of just 200 rounds per caliber at a person’s home to “prohibit individuals from hoarding ammunition.”
- Ban civilian sales of M855 “Greentip” ammunition or any hollow-nosed bullet.
- Reinstate a planned executive action from President Obama to strip gun rights from those receiving some types of Social Security checks. That plan was canceled by Congressional action signed by President Trump in 2017 with the support of not only Second Amendment groups but also civil liberties advocates.
- Increase the number of databases used to screen potential gun buyers during a National Instant Criminal Background Check System Brady check.
- Create a federal licensing program for gun owners to include mandatory training and both a written test and practical exam.
- Require gun owners to take out liability insurance before they could legally possess a firearm.
- Create a national firearm registry linked to individual firearms and require that all transfers be mandatorily registered and regularly updated.
- Eliminate small federally licensed firearms dealers who do not have a dedicated brick and mortar commercial storefront.
- Ration individual handgun purchases to no more than one per 30-day period.
- Prohibit the online sale of guns or ammunition, even by licensed dealers.
- Expand the powers and mandate of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to consolidate and centralize records relating to the acquisition of guns while allowing these regulators to increase the frequency of unscheduled audits of FFLs.
- Veto any appropriations language that could restrict public health agencies from researching gun violence, such as the Dickey Amendment, and in turn fund such research with tax-payer dollars.
- Repealing the Protection for Lawful Commerce in Guns Act, which is a federal law the insulates gun manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits, and charge federal agencies to implement safety standards “to eliminate junk guns, and to examine the feasibility of smart gun technology.”
- Regulate firearm kits such as 80 percent lowers the same way firearms are regulated.
- Mandate “evidence-based ballistics identification techniques, such as microstamping,” for all rifles and handguns made in the country. California is the only state that currently requires microstamping, and only for new models of semi-automatic pistols intended for commercial sale. Currently, there are no handguns in production that meet that mandate, one the firearms industry says relies on technology that is immature.
Everytown applauded Swalwell’s proposal, with John Feinblatt, the Bloomberg-supported group saying, “Rep. Swalwell’s new gun safety platform is the latest evidence that preventing gun violence will be a key issue in the 2020 campaign.”
As for the NRA, they countered the broadside from the California Democrat on social media by posting images of his rally, saying, “Look! All of presidential candidate Swalwell’s supporters came out to our headquarters today. No wonder he is polling at 0%”
According to poll aggregator Real Clear Politics, Swalwell is polling this week in 19th place among the major 2020 Democrats, pulling in 0.4 percent, just behind former U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md, and just ahead of former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.