With the Democratic field being such a crowded one, it has been difficult to separate the policy priorities of the many contestants. While some of the candidates are still struggling to announce bold policy decisions, others like Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are eager to stake their claim with clear-cut positions on matters. This week, Harris announced that one of her priorities would be to solve America’s “gun problem.”
According to Newsweek, the California senator was discussing the positions of her colleagues on gun control during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, when she remarked that she would not be averse to giving Congress a very short time window to enforce tighter gun control laws. In the event that it fails to do that, Harris told Tapper, she wouldn’t mind invoking her executive power.
Harris said that it is not the lack of “good ideas” which has forced Congress not to act on gun control.
“We’re not at any loss for good ideas. People have been having good ideas for decades on this issue,” Harris said, adding that Congress needed to show “courage” because that is what the American people want.
“We’re not waiting for tragedies and we’re not waiting for good ideas,” Harris told Tapper.
“Universal background checks? Check! Really good idea; you might wanna know if someone has been proven to be a danger to themselves or others before they can buy a lethal weapon.”
“What we’re waiting for is for Congress to have the courage to act.”
She then went about outlining what her course of action would be if elected to the White House. Harris said that she would give Congress a short window to pass legislation for tougher gun laws, and if it fails to do that in the first 100 days of her tenure, Harris said that she would take executive action.
“If, by my 100th day in office when I’m elected President of the United States, the United States Congress fails to put a bill on my desk to sign, with all of the good ideas — or any of the good ideas — then I’m prepared to take executive action because that’s what’s needed,” she said.
Harris also pointed out that most of the guns involved in mass shootings in America were invariably sold by a small number of sellers. She said that unless dealers made sure that they were following background checks while selling guns, their licenses would be canceled in her regime.
It is not clear if a president could take executive action to enforce changes to gun laws in the United States, but Harris appeared confident that she would be able to usher in those changes if elected to the White House.
"On this issue of the need for gun safety laws, we're not at any loss for good ideas... What we're waiting for is Congress to have the courage to act," says Sen. @KamalaHarris.— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) May 12, 2019
As President, "I am prepared to take executive action, because that's what's needed." #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/qhn72sCDri