Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (pictured when he was White House Chief of Staff) will order Chicago pension funds to divest from all gun manufacturing. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert.)
Search around the Center for American Progress website for position papers or blog posts on gun control pre-2012. You won’t find much. But Monday morning in downtown Washington—emblematic of the huge post-Newtown shift in the gun control debate—the influential center-left think tank* released a sweeping new set of gun control proposals that set a clear pro-reform benchmark for the debate over how to reduce gun violence.
The CAP plan calls for an expanded background check system in which every gun sold in America would subject the buyer to a background check; assault weapon and high-capacity magazine bans; and improved federal research into gun violence and better enforcement of gun laws. Vice President Joe Biden will announce his task force’s plan tomorrow, and it will be politically hard to propose significantly less than what’s in the CAP plan.
The proposals were rolled out at an event featuring CAP president Neera Tanden, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Representative Mike Thompson, chair of the House gun control task force.
Emanuel also made some big news during the event: he announced that he will order all Chicago municipal pension funds to divest from any investments that can be tied to gun manufacturers—and not just the makers of assault weapons but all guns. He plans to “lead a charge among all mayors” to follow suit.
You can read the full details here, but highlights of the CAP plan include:
A background check system that would touch every sale in America, public and private, with narrow exemptions for transfers between family members.
Getting tough on states that don’t send necessary information on gun buyers into the FBI background check system. Ten states “have failed to provide any mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”
An assault weapons ban. The proposals explicitly endorse the legislation outlined by Senator Dianne Feinstein, though it also contains an alternative of new licensing and transfer restrictions, which would be a disappointing compromise.
A total ban of ammunition clips with more than ten bullets.
Stopping the congressional mandates limiting the use of taxpayer money for federal research into gun violence, crime patterns, and illegal transactions.
Absorb the ATF into the FBI, to insulate it from congressional under-funding and interference with White House appointments to the agency.
The plan calls for a healthy mix of both legislative and executive action. At the unveiling this morning, Thompson and Emanuel played subtle roles as good cop and bad cop.