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Warren releases plan to tackle gun violence on heels of deadly mass shootings

Democratic candidates speak on gun violence in Iowa
Democratic candidates speak on gun violence i... 02:14

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday released an ambitious plan to combat gun violence that combines executive orders and congressional action with the aim of to reducing gun deaths by 80%. The plan comes amid renewed calls for gun control one week after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left more than 30 dead. 

Warren released the plan shortly before joining the majority of other Democratic candidates at the Iowa Gun Sense forum in Des Moines. Although Warren's Medium page lists dozens of posts about policy proposes, the plan proposed Saturday is her first full plan to tackle gun violence. 

Warren joined other candidates earlier this week in blaming President Trump's divisive rhetoric for inspiring the El Paso shooting suspect, and on Friday, she called on Walmart to stop selling guns. But until Saturday, gun control and health care stood as the largest issues Warren hadn't addressed with a detailed plan. 

"I come to you I know with these latest shootings in El Paso and Dayton, at a time of sorrow in our country, but at a time of real determination," Warren said at the gun safety forum.

Warren said that as president, she would first take executive action for immediate measures like background checks. Then, she'd push forward her anti-corruption plans to push the National Rifle Association's (NRA) influence out of Washington. Finally, Warren has about two dozen measures that she'd propose to Congress.

"It's the most comprehensive of any plan that I've seen from the candidates ... It's not one thing that needs to be done to stop gun violence in America. It's a multi-pronged approach," said Kris Brown, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Presidential Candidates Attend Gun Safety Forum In Des Moines
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (C) speaks on stage during a forum on gun safety at the Iowa Events Center on August 10, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa.  Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

Warren admitted the plan might not be enough to hit the 80% goal, which she said is meant to mirror the 80% reduction in per-mile driving deaths over the past 50 years.

"We might not know how to get all the way there yet. But we'll start by implementing solutions that we believe will work," Warren wrote in a Medium post.

Like Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Warren wants a federal requirement that every gun owner undergo training and get a license.

Warren also proposed preventing people from buying more than one firearm a month and to increase the waiting period for purchases to one week. She also said she would push Congress to allow gun violence survivors to seek compensation from manufactures and deals who act negligently. The plan also calls for an assault weapons ban. 

Warren is one of the leading progressives on most issues in the 2020 race. But when it comes to getting AR-15s and other AK-style rifles out of people's hands, she didn't go as far as former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, who said this week that he was open to instituting a mandatory gun buyback plan, or former candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell, who promised to deliver it. 

Instead, Warren said she would ask Congress to essentially tax the ownership of assault rifles out of existence using the National Firearms Act the way the Roosevelt administration did with machine guns. 

While other candidates have fallen and leapt forward in polls over the past few months, Warren has had a slow and steady climb in the polls toward frontrunner and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Voters increasingly support gun reform legislation. A Politico/Morning Consult poll found Wednesday that most Republicans and Democrats support one.

But Congress hasn't passed meaningful gun legislation in a quarter century. Her campaign said the strength of her plan is that it fits into her larger plan of taking on corporate influence in Washington.

"She'll pass her anti-corruption legislation and eliminate the filibuster in order to break the hold of the NRA and pass gun legislation in her first 100 days," said campaign spokesperson Saloni Sharma. 

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