Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, long an advocate of strict gun control, on Thursday unveiled a sweeping proposal of measures he said he would enact if elected president, among them federal licensing requirements for gun owners and new so-called “red-flag” laws that would allow for the temporary confiscation of guns from people deemed dangerous.
At an event in Aurora, Colo., where a dozen people were gunned down in a movie theater in 2012, Bloomberg — the most recent entrant in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination — said his agenda is not “some johnny-come-lately list of borrowed ideas.
“This is part of my life‘s work, and I‘m just telling you I will get this done whether I get elected or not,” Bloomberg told the crowd, according to an account of the event in Politico.
The measures suggested by Bloomberg also include stricter background checks, raising the minimum age for gun purchases to 21, safe-storage requirements, and the repeal of federal laws that protect gun makers from lawsuits.
Bloomberg appeared at the event with Colorado State Representative Tom Sullivan, whose son was killed in the theater shooting. Sullivan told the New York Times that he was endorsing Bloomberg because he is the only candidate he trusts to actually address gun violence.
Gun rights groups immediately called Bloomberg’s proposals unconstitutional and oppressive.
Bloomberg wants gun registration and every oppressive/failed gun control scheme ever conceived.— NRA (@NRA) December 5, 2019
This hypocritical billionaire, with 24/7 armed guards, doesn’t believe self-defense is a fundamental human right or that gun ownership is a right as determined by the Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/vOd3umd4Xw
The requirement for a national gun licensing system is an even stricter one than Bloomberg has proposed in the past. It would require all gun buyers to obtain a license from federal or state authorities before buying a firearm.
“Now I know critics will say that Americans shouldn’t need a permit to exercise their constitutional rights,” Bloomberg told the Colorado crowd. “But voting is a constitutional right, and we require people to register to protect the rights of all citizens, and this exactly the same idea.”
“Because a criminal with a gun can destroy our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he added.