A measure, dubbed the Federal Firearm Licensing Act, would require those who want to buy or receive a firearm to first get vetted by, then be issued a license from, the U.S. Department of Justice.

A trio of Senate Dems – Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez from New Jersey and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut – announced the bill late last week. At its core, it would establish a national licensing mandate for legal gun ownership. The license would have to be renewed every five years, to include refresher training and a subsequent background check.

No license, no guns.

In addition to an extensive background check, applicants would have to complete firearms training, “which must include a written test and hands-on training to ensure safe use and accuracy,” and submit fingerprints. Further, the licensee would have to report to DOJ the make, model, and serial number of the gun being transferred, forming a national gun registry over time. 

"This bill moves us in the right direction and is based on a simple concept - if you need a license to drive a car, you should need one to buy and possess a gun,” said Booker, who hails from a state where it can sometimes be just short of impossible to legally buy a gun much less carry one. "Firearm licensing laws have broad public support and have been shown to reduce gun violence in states that have enacted them, including in my home state of New Jersey."

Pro-gun groups were shocked at the text of the proposed bill. 

"Booker's bill would put the A.G. in charge of approving who gets to purchase a gun and who doesn't," said the Firearms Policy Coalition in an email. "That means the politically-connected and corrupt government officials might be granted licenses. But literally everyone else could be completely sh*t out of luck. The last gun you bought could in all likelihood be the last gun you will ever be able to legally buy. That's because this legislation is designed to give the government the ability to flat-out deny all gun purchases and transfers, ending the Second Amendment as we know it. 

"This legislation is one of the most blatant, vicious attacks on the right to keep and bear arms ever introduced." 

Booker's bill is not the only one of its kind in Congress. U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) filed a similar measure earlier this month while U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) has had a firearm licensing and registration act on deck since last March.

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