Tarek Boothe Public Health Approach to Gun Reform Act
- Purpose. The purpose of this document is to highlight the key points of the gun reform legislation that George Croom is proposing during his 2022 campaign for US Congress in Maryland’s 2nd District. Baltimore City, where George lives, ended 2021 with 337 murders and 728 non-fatal shootings. Gun violence in the city of Baltimore and across the country is a public health emergency. Enclosed are 12 provisions that George Croom will highlight in the first piece of legislation he’ll introduce as a new Congressman.
- Overview. Tarek Boothe was a loving son, brother and aspiring chef who earned a diploma in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu. He enjoyed using his American, Korean and Jamaican heritage to create unique and tasty foods. His creativity extended beyond the kitchen and onto the canvas where he used various mediums to create urban art. He was involved in the World Central Kitchen charity. Tarek always looked for ways where he could contribute, to help not only family and friends but strangers through his kindness and through the kitchen. Unfortunately, Tarek was not immune to the public health emergency of gun violence that we face in the United
States. Tarek was shot and killed while waiting on his ride share home on one of the busiest streets in the Northwest Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown on January 31, 2022, just 18 days after his birthday. His killer is still at-large. Tarek Aaron “Chef Tako” Boothe was 27 years old.
These proposals are not asking for a ban on guns. As David Hemenway said in his book Private Guns, Public Health, “It is about creating policies that will prevent violence and injuries.”
- Enhanced Universal Background Checks. Enhanced universal background checks will apply to any firearm purchase, to include the previously permitted private sales and simple transfers. All background checks will require a HIPPA release form. By signing the release individuals are agreeing to a national database scan for any mental health risk flags raised by authorized mental health professionals in their past. They’ll also need to self-identify membership in or association with any anti-government or social/racial hate group. 7-day minimum wait time will apply to all background check submissions.
- Elimination of Private Sales and Gun Show Loophole Closure. Private sales and gun show loopholes allow purchasers from places like Chicago, where gun laws are strict, to drive to Indiana and purchase weapons without a background check. Those sales place unregistered guns on the streets that lead to the high rates of firearm deaths in the city of Chicago. Closer to home the same loopholes exist in places like North Carolina, West Virginia, and Virginia that lead to the influx of firearms on the streets of Baltimore. Making background checks universal and mandatory closes the loop and makes the streets of Baltimore, and every major city combating gun violence, a little safer.
- Ballistics Fingerprint Database. In this provision every weapon manufactured and sold in the United States must register ballistics data into a national database. This information will remain active for no less than 50 years and will remain accessible to state and local law enforcement, federal law enforcement, federal regulatory agencies, and federal investigative agencies. This coupled with mandatory universal background checks for every firearm purchase will create an automatic registry of every weapon sold, attaching the weapon to the last individual with legal possession of it. If the weapon is involved in a crime the last legally registered owner of the weapon is subject to prosecution for that crime if no account of the weapon being reported stolen or sold exists in the database. This action single handedly cuts down on straw purchasers and closes loopholes that don’t fall under current background check laws.
- Age Restrictions. Individuals under the age of 18 will not be permitted to own a firearm, without being co-sponsored by a legal parent or guardian. These individuals will not be permitted to operate a firearm without supervision by the legal owner, parent, or guardian. If the weapon is involved in a crime the minor and sponsor registered to the weapon are subject to prosecution for that crime if no account of the weapon being reported stolen or sold exists in the database.
- Two Up – Two Down. Generational ownership of a firearm is a tradition in many parts of the country. This provision will allow verifiable members of the same legal family line, to include individuals that are adopted or born through surrogate, to transfer firearms two generations up and two generations down. Transfer may be done, with proper documentation, between the individuals of the family and without support or mediation by an FFL. If the weapon is being transferred to a minor the transferer and/or parent/guardian must remain as the legal co-sponsor until the transferee is of legal age to own and operate the weapon without restriction. All previously stated rules regarding criminal activity related to the firearm are applicable to this statute.
- One Purchase Every Other Month. This provision will restrict every individual legally authorized to own a firearm to one firearm purchase every other month. This will drastically cut the impact of straw purchasers that, under the current system, purchase weapons legally and sell them to individuals that are legally unauthorized to purchase the weapons.
- Mental Health. A national database will exist that allows licensed mental health professionals to flag individuals based on proper, documented, and verifiable evaluation or observation of mental health signs that are potentially harmful to an individual or others around them. This database will be tied to the national background check registry and require person to be evaluated and removed by a licensed mental health professional prior to purchasing a firearm.
- Domestic Abuse Restrictions. Any individual convicted of a domestic abuse crime will be entered into a national registry and will remain unauthorized to purchase a firearm for a period no less than 7 years after their conviction. Following the 7-year moratorium the individual will be required to receive a yearly mental health evaluation that will be entered into the database by a licensed mental health professional, clearing them to purchase a firearm for no more than 365 days following the last evaluation. Individuals with two or more domestic abuse convictions will remain ineligible to purchase or legally own a firearm indefinitely.
- Lethal Liability Clause. In the event that a minor child commits a crime with a weapon registered legally to a parent or guardian, the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be held legally liable for failure to secure the weapon an prevent a lethal action. This includes cases where an individual in the home commits a crime that has a diagnosed, documented, and verifiable mental condition that could potentially lead to them harming themselves or others. This includes self-harm and/or suicide committed by a minor or individual diagnosed with a mental health condition.
- Firearm Manufacturer Safety Tax Break. Manufacturers will receive a tax break for every weapon sold with a child safe lock. This includes, but isn’t limited to, a free firearm lock with the purchase of handguns and/or free child safe case with the purchase of a shotgun/rifle.
- Individual Household Safety Tax Break. Every purchase of a child safe lock for handguns or approved case for shotguns or rifles will be free of federal taxes. This will incentivize current and future gun owners to practice safe storage of all weapons and reduce the rate of accidental firearm deaths.
- Mandatory Training. Every gun purchase will require proof that the purchaser has taken a federally approved gun safety course. Most states only require gun safety courses for individuals seeking a concealed carry license. This provision will ensure that every gun owner/purchaser in the country receives basic gun safety instruction within their lifetime.
INDIA MURRAY SWEETNEY