Booker Introduces Bill Requiring Gun Owners to Obtain 5-Year Federal License

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, has introduced legislation that would require gun owners to obtain a 5-year federal license to "buy and possess" a firearm.

The licensing process outlined in the Federal Firearm Licensing Act would be handled by the U.S. Department of Justice.

"When I put it first out it was criticized by other people in the field as going too far -- that's gun licensing -- that if you need a license to drive a car in America you should have a license to buy a gun and to own a handgun," Booker said on Tuesday at the annual Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) conference.

Booker predicted that federal licensing for firearms would lower the number of shootings that occur.

"Connecticut did it -- 40 percent drop in shootings, 15 percent drop in suicides, but this is more than just what the plan is," Booker said.

According to Booker's office, the federal license would need to be "renewed every five years, at which point the applicant would have to go through a background check and undergo firearm safety training again." The bill would grant DOJ the authority to "revoke a license if the individual poses a danger to himself/herself or others" as well as "require the DOJ to regularly conduct checks to ensure that individuals are in compliance with the federal license requirements."