Aug 21, 2019

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.

The big picture: The sweeping proposal, branded as its "Peace Plan," attempts to push the national conversation on addressing gun violence further than "red flag" laws or universal background checks, which are both solutions that have been mentioned by the White House and congressional leaders.

Highlights from the proposal:

  • Raise the age to buy a gun from 18 to 21.
  • Create a national licensing and gun registry that would include in-person interviews and a 10-day wait before gun purchases are approved.
  • Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
  • Implement a mandatory gun buyback program.
  • Install a "national director of gun violence prevention" who would report directly to the president.
  • Create a "Safety Corps," similar to the Peace Corps, for gun violence prevention.
  • Create community-based programs for suicide prevention, domestic violence and urban violence.

What they're saying: David Hogg, one of the biggest names from the March for Our Lives movement, tweeted: "We know this seems ambitious given Washington's apathy to decades of bloodshed in our schools, neighborhoods, and even our houses of worship."

  • He added, "Policymakers have failed, so survivors are stepping up. The #PeacePlan is written by the generation that's only ever known lockdown drills. But we WILL be the last."
  • Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke became the first 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to endorse the plan, calling on "everyone else in this race to do the same."

Reality check: Talks between the Trump administration and Congress about acting on gun control solutions have slowed in recent days.

Go deeper: Where 2020 Democrats stand on gun control

Go deeper

After Texas shootings, 2020 Democrats push for gun control measures

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during the 2020 Public Service Forum hosted in Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidates joined fellow 2020 hopeful Beto O’Rourke in speaking of the need for gun control on Saturday following a second mass shooting in Texas in August.

"Don’t know what the motivation is, do not yet know the firearms that were used or how they acquired them, but we do know this is f**ked up. We do know that this has to stop in this country. There is no reason that we have to accept this as our fortune, as our future, as our fate, and yet functionally right now we have. ... To have a Congress that will not ... even pass universal background checks or close those loopholes that allow people to buy a firearm when they should not be able to."
— Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke at an event in Fairfax Station, Virginia
Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 1, 2019

Democrats step up pressure for Republicans to act on gun control

House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerry Nadler speaks to members of the press. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Democrats increased pressure on Republicans Tuesday to act on gun control, advancing new measures and sending a letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell. But McConnell made clear after meeting with President Trump on the issue that the decision rests with Trump, ABC News reports.

Why it matters: Gun violence has become a hot-button issue after August's mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton and the West Texas sister cities of Odessa and Midland. Per Reuters, there's a coordinated Democratic strategy to press McConnell to allow a vote on gun control bills.

Go deeperArrowSep 11, 2019

Beto O'Rourke's plan to turn voters into gun safety activists

Beto O'Rourke at a march protesting gun violence in El Paso, Aug. 4. Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Beto O'Rourke is organizing a 5-state campaign "to activate the country’s next wave of gun safety advocates" ahead of the Giffords/March for Our Lives presidential forum on Oct. 2, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: After the Aug. 3 El Paso shooting that killed 22, O'Rourke has made gun violence his campaign's top priority — and that's one way to differentiate himself from the rest of the field and paint a clearer picture to voters of why he's running.

Go deeperArrowSep 18, 2019