ENDING GUN VIOLENCE
WHILE PRESERVING 2A RIGHTS
The Second Amendment should be protected, but it should be protected for those who respect it and choose not to abuse it. Some of our societal-grown freedoms, including the Second Amendment, are not granted by nature, but by a representative government in which we all participate.
Anyone who enjoys these freedoms, including responsible gun-owners, agree the safeguard of this liberty is not protected by God nor nature, but by laws written and established by our elected representatives. For those who appreciate our freedoms and want to continue enjoying them, together we can accomplish common sense gun reform.
In short, Dana Ferguson would support legislation addressing the following issues:
Universal Background Checks
Closing All Loopholes
Extreme Risk 'Red Flag' Laws
Continued Ban on Bump Stock Assault Accessories
Banning the Sale of High Capacity Assault Rifles
Federal Licensing Program
Education and Trauma Victim Support
Further, he supports a significant amount of legislation, including HR8 demanding universal background checks, which Rep. Jack Bergman voted against, and HR 2708 the 'Disarm Hate' Act. Ferguson is also a proponent of many elements of the Peace Plan by March for Our Lives. In addition, the candidate received the 2020 Moms Demand Action (MDA) 'Gun Sense Candidate' distinction and on National Gun Violence Awareness day he took the Sandy Hook Promise. Read his comments on both:
Guns are not exclusively the problem. America has a lot of work to do on all fronts; in the home, with the mentally ill, among a violent obsessed culture, and in a society structured to outcast fringe people. We also need to work on student inclusion. However, when a mentally unstable individual’s right to bear arms infringes on another American's rights to life, liberty, and their pursuit of happiness—or a safe education—we need to rethink our gun laws.
Any plan to address the gun violence epidemic must address suicides by firearms, which account for 6 in 10 gun-related deaths. Mental health is a serious issue today in America, and in the upcoming months, Dana Ferguson will address the the topic more in depth.
In Northern Michigan hunting is an important way of life. When polled, most legal, responsible gun owners support keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill and felonious criminals. As others are adamant that Second Amendment is also important for well regulated militia, Ferguson understand the Constitutional consequences of its infringement, but recognizes two key words: "well regulated." Ferguson supports the right to bear arms with universal background checks and a renewed, expanded, better-funded and more efficient system for licensing.
Dana Ferguson prefers a ban on assault rifles, but would also consider a legal reclassification of semi-automatic large capacity weapons to "military grade," similar to the classification of M16s and M4s.
These machine-guns, silencers, and short-barreled rifles to undergo a background check and register those weapons with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) under the National Firearms Act (NFA). They are difficult for citizens to obtain without training, fingerprints, passports, a special license, an extra tax and annual renewal inspections by law enforcement.
Ferguson supports the Democratic plan to buy back assault rifles or register them under the NFA. He supports a total ban on specific firearm adaptation accessories that have no need in sport or hunting, such as bumpstocks. Regarding school safety, the candidate does not believe arming teachers is the answer, and hopes to enact legislation promoting survivor trauma support.
ENDING A VIOLENT EPIDEMIC
Universal background checks are the foundation for any policy aiming to keep firearms out of the hands of abusers and other prohibited people.
According to the Gifford Law Center, in at least 90% of cases, firearm background checks processed through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) are resolved immediately.
The vast majority of the American public has supported laws requiring background checks on all firearm purchases, with polling data consistently showing that more than 90% of both gun owners and non-gun owners support this policy.
Other improvements should also be made in the existing background check system.
Gun manufacturers have little incentive to make their products safer. Firearms are exempt from consumer regulations. Ferguson supports plans to close this loophole in federal oversight and allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure gun safety by making safety warnings and issuing recalls for faulty firearms.
Ferguson supports legislation, HR 2708 "Disarm Hate Act" prohibiting an individual “who has been convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime, or received an enhanced sentence for a misdemeanor because of hate or bias in its commission” from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
While current law forbids an abusive spouse or ex-spouse convicted of abuse or under a restraining order from purchasing a firearm, eliminating the "Boyfriend loophole" extending restrictions to non-felony dating partners or former dating partners is commonsense.
Based off Senator Cory Booker's plan, "Just as a driver’s license demonstrates a person’s eligibility and proficiency to drive a car, a gun license demonstrates that a person is eligible and can meet certain basic safety and training standards necessary to own a gun."
Like renewing a passport, gun licenses will be sought from a designated local office, widely available in urban and rural areas. Applicants would submit fingerprints, provide basic background information, and demonstrate completion of a certified gun safety course.
The granting of the license is contingent upon the FBI then verifying submitted materials and running a comprehensive background check before issuing a federal gun license.
The license - which would allow a individual to freely purchase firearms - would be valid for up to five years before renewal with regular, automatic checks to flag non-compliance with license terms.
RED FLAG LAWS
Extreme risk laws enable family members or law enforcement officials to temporarily remove an individual’s access to firearms when that individual is in crisis and poses a danger to themselves or others. Ferguson supports incentivising the adoption of these laws by funding their implementation at the state level.
WEAPON PURCHASING / ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN
Under current law, sellers who sell guns online, at gun shows, or anywhere else without a federal dealer’s license can transfer firearms without having to run any background check whatsoever. Ferguson would support legislation to end the gun-show loophole and online sale of firearms and ammunition.
The Assault Weapons ban from 1994 to 2004 should be adapted based on lessons learned. A contemporary ban on assault weapons will be designed to prevent manufacturers from circumventing the law.
Ferguson supports legislation similar to Canada's buy-back program or allowing grandfathered firearm owners to register their weapons with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives under the National Firearms Act.
EDUCATION & SURVIVOR SUPPORT
People who are impacted by gun violence experience stress, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The effects of this harm extend not just to survivors but also to witnesses, bystanders, neighbors, and all those who love them.
Making federal programs more trauma-informed
Creating a network of trauma care centers
Training health care and other service providers in trauma-centered care
OTHER / SOURCES
Ferguson's gun action plan is adopted from four major sources:
Most details highlighted in these plans are proposals and suggestions Dana Ferguson would consider as Michigan-01's next Congressperson.