WASHINGTON — The Parkland student activists behind “March for Our Lives” issued a call to candidates in the 2020 presidential field on Wednesday: prove they would address gun violence by endorsing their newly unveiled gun control plan.

The March for Our Lives movement, formed by survivors of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., is asking the candidates to: change the standards of gun ownership; halve the rate of gun deaths in 10 years; name a director of gun violence prevention who would report directly to the president; fund intervention programs; and automatically register eligible voters and mail voter registration cards to Americans when they turn 18.

The proposal also calls for a national licensing and registry system centered on responsible gun ownership and a ban on assault weapons.

“The younger generations are disproportionately affected by gun violence. They should have a say in how their country solves this epidemic,” the proposal reads. “The federal government has failed in its responsibility to protect the safety and well-being of the public with regard to the nation’s gun violence epidemic. The time for comprehensive and sweeping reform is now.”

The six-step “Peace Plan for a Safer America “ proposal comes a day after President Donald Trump backtracked on gun control policies he had embraced after recent mass shootings in California, Texas and Ohio. He had previously signaled interest in more aggressive background checks for people who buy firearms and potential new restrictions on gun sales. On Tuesday, he instead suggested less controversial responses, such as more funding for mental health care and harsher prosecution of federal gun crimes.

“A lot of the people who put me where I am are strong believers in the Second Amendment, and I am also,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

A man opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival using a rifle banned in California in July, killing three, including two children. Less than a week later, a gunman who allegedly published an online manifesto railing against a “Hispanic invasion” of Texas killed 22 people, nearly all Mexican nationals or Mexican Americans, at a Walmart in El Paso. The next morning, a shooter in Dayton killed nine.

The plan calls on 2020 candidates to tackle the issue as “a national public health emergency.”

“We started March for Our Lives to say, ‘Not One More.’ No more school shooting drills. No more burying loved ones. No more American exceptionalism in all the wrong ways. But we cannot do this alone. We need leaders — in the White House, in Congress, and on the Supreme Court — who care about the future of our children and our nation,” the proposal states.


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