Kamala Harris to call for ban on importation of AR-15-style semiautomatic rifles

May 15, 2019

Sen. Kamala D. Harris on Wednesday plans to call for halting the importation of AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles, going further on an issue she’s already pledged to take executive action on if elected president.

Ms. Harris, California Democrat, plans to detail the proposal at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, multiple outlets reported.

Last month, Ms. Harris announced that if Congress failed to act within 100 days, she would take several executive actions on guns, including new requirements for gun-purchase background checks.

Since then, Sen. Cory A. Booker, one of her 2020 Democratic presidential rivals, has unveiled an expansive gun control plan that would involve instituting federal licensing requirements and increasing federal oversight of gun manufacturers, among other items.

Guns had been a sensitive issue for Democrats running for president since 2000, when some in the party blamed the issue in part for Al Gore’s narrow loss.

President Trump also won the White House while championing a staunchly pro-gun message in 2016.

Congress failed to pass any significant gun control legislation in the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012.

But gun control advocates say last year’s Parkland, Florida, school shooting and the wave of student-driven activism that followed it have help shifted the politics of the issue in their direction.