SIOUX CITY -- Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris told more than 250 people gathered at a campaign rally on Sioux City's riverfront Thursday evening that Congress lacks the courage to act on gun control.
"Fine, if you want to go hunting, but we need reasonable gun safety laws in this country," she told the crowd, some of whom held blue signs with the words "Fearless for the People" as they stood under the Anderson Dance Pavilion.
Harris made the remarks just days after two mass shootings that killed 31 people and injured dozens more in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The U.S. senator from California is on a five-day Iowa bus tour meeting with caucusgoers from Sioux City to Davenport to lay out her "3AM Agenda," which addresses "problems that keep Americans up at night," such as equal pay, student debt and gun violence.
If she is elected president, Harris said she will give Congress 100 days in which to put a gun control bill on her desk. If they fail to do that, Harris said she is prepared to take executive action to put in place a comprehensive background check requirement that would order the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to take the licenses of gun dealers who violate the law.
"Ninety percent of the guns associated with crime are sold by just 5 percent of the gun dealers. We need to enforce the laws," she said. "I'm prepared by executive action to ban the importation of assault weapons into our country. It's time to take action."
Harris, a former attorney general and district attorney, is one of more than 20 Democrats running to deny a second term for Republican President Donald Trump. In order for the country to "turn the page," Harris said it will take a prosecutor to make a case against four more years of Trump, whom she called a "predator."
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"He's been using the office of the presidency of the United States in a way that is about sowing hate and division among us and that is not reflective of who we are," she said. " ... The vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us."
Harris cited health concerns, drug addiction, debt and employment as issues that keep Americans up at night. She said America's economy "is not working for working people." A lady in the crowd shouted out that she is working eight jobs.
Harris said she plans to change the tax code so that families that make less than $100,000 a year receive a tax credit of up to $6,000 a year, which could be distributed in monthly increments of $500.
"In the America we believe in, nobody should have to work more than one job to have a roof over their head and food on the table," she said.
Harris is scheduled to hold events in Storm Lake, Fort Dodge and Clear Lake on Friday.
This story has been updated to reflect the number of people who were checked into the event, according to Harris' campaign.