Alan Webber is a New Mexico progressive Democrat who is running for Mayor of Santa Fe and who has also run for Governor.
Mr. Webber is a successful businessman, having worked in government and in journalism for a number of years.
Mr. Webber sent out an email regarding the Florida high school mass shooting that caught my eye, no so much for promoting his candidacy for Mayor, but what he said regarding responsible gun control and the National Rifle Association.
What Mr. Webber said in part is:
“… [W]e must call out the NRA at every opportunity. Congress, spurred by the NRA, has put legal limits on what city governments can do to stop gun violence. … even common-sense measures like one to keep guns out of the hands of violent offenders—which most law enforcement officials support—isn’t possible at a city level, because of the NRA.
Long ago, the NRA exceeded their charter. The NRA was founded in 1871 to promote “training, education, and marksmanship.” They added the NRA Foundation in 1990 to “raise millions of dollars to fund gun safety and educational projects of benefit to the general public.”
But today, [the NRA] is the single greatest opponent to laws that would help prevent what [happened in a Florida High School] as well as seventeen others school-based shootings since the new year. Seventeen shootings since January 1. That’s more than two school shootings per week
We have a deadly epidemic on our hands. And yes, there are many components to the epidemic– we need more mental health treatment facilities, more parental involvement, better education, early intervention in cases where young people are crying out for help – and more. But no one can deny that the NRA isn’t part of the problem. So let’s start there. Let’s start by calling out the NRA for what they are: complicit in this deadly epidemic” according to Alan Webber’s email.
What caught my interest is when Mr. Weber proposed and said what he felt we must do and where we can begin to deal with the epidemic of gun violence.
WEBBER SPECIFIC PROPOSALS TO BE CONSIDERED
The specific proposals outlined in Mr. Webber’s email are as follows:
1. Implement background checks on the sale of all guns.
2. Close the “Charleston loophole” or “delayed denial” where federally licensed dealers can sell guns if three business days pass without FBI clearance.
3. Update and enhance the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NCIS).
4. Institute mandatory waiting periods for all gun purchases.
5. Enact a gun violence restraining order/extreme risk protection process to temporarily prohibit an individual deemed by a judge to pose a danger to self or others, from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and allow law enforcement to remove any firearms or ammunition already in the individual’s possession.
6. Implement handgun licensing, permitting, training, and registration.
7. Ban bump-fire stocks and other dangerous accessories.
8. Ban future manufacture/sale of assault weapons, regulate existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act of 1934, and initiate a federal gun buyback program.
9. Impose limits on high capacity magazines.
10. Make gun trafficking a federal crime and punish.
11. Repeal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to eliminate the corporate gun industry special protection from civil justice law that no other industry enjoys.
12. Restrict and penalize firearm possession by or transfer to a person subject to a domestic violence protection order or a person (including dating partners) convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor.
13. Prohibit firearm sale or transfer to and receipt or possession by an individual who has: (1) been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor hate crime, or (2) received from any court an enhanced hate crime misdemeanor sentence.
14. Repeal the Dickey Amendment to adequately fund government research on gun violence.
15. Institute child access prevention/safe storage requirement.
16. Provide resources and treatment for people with mental illness.
17. Enhance accountability of federally licensed firearms dealers.
18. Implement micro stamped code on each bullet that links it to a specific gun.
19. Produce ‘xmart guns’ with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or biometric recognition (fingerprint) capability.
20. Limit gun purchases to one gun per month to reduce trafficking and straw purchases.
21. Prohibit open carry of firearms.
22. Digitize ATF gun records.
23. Require licensing for ammunition dealers.
A few of the proposals are already in existence in one form or another and some of the proposals have been been around for a time, but congress has failed and refused to act.
Gun trafficking of certain firearms is already a federal offense, but the penalty could be increased substantially.
Allowing the “open carry” of firearms is embodied in the New Mexico constitution and therefore any prohibition would require a constitutional amendment.
One area in particular that needs to be considered is the prohibition of the manufacture and sale of “ghost guns” which are guns that are manufactured and sold in parts without any serial numbers to be assembled by the purchaser and that can be sold to anyone.
Another gun technology that is available is the personalization of handguns and rifles that are computer chipped programed with fingerprint identification and can only be discharged by the owner.
Still another proposal is the requiring the purchase of “liability insurance”, as is the case for automobiles, with each handgun sold and at the time of sale.
Mr. Weber acknowledges that there are many proposals that people may not agree with, but the point is that it is long over due to begin the discussion and force our elected officials, both on a local and national level, to take action.
Unless we begin now with responsible measures to deal with gun violence in this country, we will never complete the journey and eliminate mass shootings and we will be waiting for the next news cycle, the next mass shooting and watch funerals.