US Presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker talks gun violence in Charlotte

Sen. Booker holds gun violence panel in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -US Presidential Candidate Senator Cory Booker was in town Friday sharing his platform about gun reform. He shared his plan in front of a packed room at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in West Charlotte.

“Presidential campaigns, win or lose you can affect the national conversation,” Senator Cory Booker said. “And so if I have the chance to shake this conversation our country is going to have - I am going to make sure that gun safety is right there in the center of our conversation.”

Booker told the crowd now was the time to stand up against gun violence. He was in town the day a Mooresville Police Officer was buried because of gun violence and days after two UNC Charlotte students died and four were injured during a campus shooting in April. Booker gave his condolences and support to the victims’ families. He says the gun violence that is happening in America is unacceptable.

"It's not enough to give thoughts and prayers," Booker said. "Faith without works is dead. I am going to take bold action to make our country better and safer."

The politician wants people to obtain a federal license to own a gun. That process would not only include a background check but also safety training and an interview.

"If you need a license to drive a car," Booker said. "You should have a license to buy a gun. States that have done that - guess what's happened - dramatic drops. The floor falls out on gun violence. Connecticut did it and they dropped gun violence 40%."

Booker also wants more technology to be used to help bring closure to unsolved murders.

"If we do simple technology like have microstamping," Booker said. "Before that shell is discharged - it gets stamped where the gun is - it is so much easier to solve crimes...Majority of us believe in my plan. The majority think we should have common sense gun safety."

Critics have chimed in and believe Booker's plan will interfere with the country's Second Amendment. He addressed that criticism.

“If you are a law-abiding gun owner,” Booker said. “There is nothing in my plan that infringes your right to own a gun. The only people who should worry about my plan are gun runners and criminals who intend to do harm to others.”

The people in the crowd cheered Booker on. It was stated this campaign stop was not for an endorsement but rather to educate and inform voters. One high school student left the event wanting more.

“I was disappointed by the fact that the solutions weren’t anything new,” High School Senior Righteous Keitt said. “That were comprehensive - that could do anything. I feel like every single solution he gave I was able to find online doing my own research and I am only a high school senior. I understand it’s common sense gun law, but what else can we do and how can we effectively do that.”

Na'ilah El-Amin was also in the crowd. She is a college senior at UNC Charlotte. She wanted to hear Booker. She graduates Saturday and likes what Booker had to say about gun violence.

"From what he said I think that it's a good start," UNC Charlotte Senior Na'ilah El-Amin said. "We also felt like he was really hearing the pain and the difficultly that comes with living after gun violence."

Booker admits his plan will be a challenge, but that's not stopping him.

“I’ve heard all my life people say it can’t be done,” Booker said. “But in American history they say Civil Rights legislation couldn’t be passed. It failed multiple times until we created a national movement to make changes...I will not get this done, we will.”

Booker called the 2020 election a movement election. He hopes more lawmakers will be voted in who are eager to deal with gun reform so laws can change. The politician also answered questions from the audience. He told the crowd he is for banning assault weapons and if he became President - he would use his executive order for gun control.

His next stop was at South Carolina State University.

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