Anti-gun U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) threw in the towel Monday in his failing bid for the Democratic nomination for president, the latest in a growing list of White House wannabes who launched their campaigns with gun control as a central plank in their platforms, with Booker favoring federal licensing of gun owners.
The Garden State gun control proponent came out swinging last year with what the New York Times described at the time as a 14-part plan that was “among the most progressive gun-control measures suggested by a candidate seeking the Democratic nomination.”
In addition to mandatory licensing, Booker advocated for requiring a license to actually buy a firearm, a “process would involve submitting fingerprints and sitting for an interview, and would require applicants to complete a certified gun safety course. Each applicant would also undergo a federal background check before being issued a gun license, which would be valid for up to five years.”
Booker’s extremist proposals outraged Second Amendment activists across the country. It may have contributed to his decline in the polls, although the media might share in that by focusing their attention on other candidates including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg.
But Booker was more outspoken than many of his competitors on the subject of gun control. He also advocated for an investigation of the National Rifle Association, and for the government to set what the Times called “minimum standards for gun ownership nationwide.”
When he first entered the race, Booker was considered a possible front-runner, but as time passed, his campaign lost momentum in a field overrun by candidate with essentially the same message.
Perhaps the final nail in his political coffin came when he failed to qualify for the Democratic debate in Iowa.
Booker’s departure comes in the wake of other campaign quits including California Sen. Kamala Harris, California Rep. Eric Swalwell, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke and Marianne Williamson.
Gun owners are not sorry to see Booker go, as his views on gun ownership were considered among the more extreme of the proposals, though nothing he said could come close to O’Rourke’s Houston debate blurt, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
Meanwhile, state legislatures are kicking off across the nation, and as with the situation in Virginia, gun owners across the nation are facing threats as serious as those ever posed by Booker and his contemporaries. The states to watch in addition to Virginia are Florida, Oregon and Washington.