Aug 15, 2019

Kamala Harris outlines plan to tackle domestic terrorism

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at a gun safety forum at Iowa Events Center on Aug. 10. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) released a plan Wednesday to tackle domestic terrorism by limiting gun access, following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton this month.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism is a growing threat in the U.S. FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress in July that the bureau had made about 100 domestic terrorism arrests in the first 3 quarters of this fiscal year. Harris is the latest 2020 candidate to address this issue.

  • Other candidates to reference recent mass shootings and highlight the role that white nationalism and domestic terrorism can play in gun violence include Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), former HUD Secretary Julián Castro and Southbend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

The big picture: In her plan, Harris proposes the creation of a federal "red flag" law and background checks for online gun sales. She pledges to pass Domestic Terrorism Prevention Orders into law if elected.

  • The orders would allow certain individuals, including law enforcement officers and family members, "to petition a federal court to temporarily restrict a person’s access to guns if they exhibit clear evidence of dangerousness."

Go deeper: Where 2020 Democrats stand on gun control

Go deeper

Where 2020 Democrats stand on gun control

Warren and Biden on the debate stage on Jan. 14. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced a new gun reform bill on Thursday with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) that calls for raising the minimum age for all gun purchases to 21 and increasing the excise tax on gun sales to 30% and ammunition sales to 50%.

The big picture: 2019's mass shootings in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Virginia Beach; and near Odessa, Texas, have pushed 2020 Democrats to take harder stances on gun control than in the last presidential election, when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton only briefly addressed the issue in their primary debate.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

March for Our Lives launches gun control plan to spur 2020 youth vote

David Hogg speaks onstage at March For Our Lives in 2018. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for March For Our Lives

March for Our Lives, started by student activists who survived the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., launched a massive gun control plan Wednesday aimed at kicking off a youth voting surge in 2020.

Why it matters: It was the influential group's first public action since the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

Go deeperArrowAug 21, 2019

In gun reform plan, Beto O'Rourke wants to hold social media liable

Beto O’Rourke speaks at a campaign re-launch on August 15 in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke wants to hold social media platforms liable for failing to ban "hateful activities" like harassment, white nationalism or defamation in his newly unveiled gun reform plan.

Be smart: Efforts to limit or amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — which shields platforms like Google and Facebook from legal liability for users' posts — have historically failed because of free speech protections granted by the First Amendment.

Go deeperArrowAug 17, 2019