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Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 01/20/2021 in Firearm News

Biden on Gun Control

Biden on Gun Control

As Joe Biden was sworn in as the new president, gun owners, dealers and manufacturers had varying reactions. Some probably blistered paint at 30 paces, some prayed. A few took a more pragmatic attitude of "we shall see." 

That "we shall see" attitude is a good one. Historically, whoever gets elected president goes into office with a long list of campaign promises. 

None have ever kept all those promises. 

Biden's Gun Control Plan

In his campaign, Joe Biden called gun violence a "public health epidemic." He notes the number of people killed each year by way of guns, but pays scant attention to the plague of inner-city violence and he totally ignores the fact that most gun-related deaths are from handguns. 

What does Joe want to do? Here are the highlights we will look at: 

  • Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and "high-capacity" (standard capacity) magazines 
  • Stop "ghost" guns
  • Make existing assault weapons subject to the NFA. In other words, he wants to make an AR15 a Class III weapon
  • Background checks on all gun sales 
  • End online sales
  • Expand the "red flag" laws
  • Smart guns
  • Other 

Congress: The Biggest Hurdle for Biden's Gun Control Plan 

Congress is Biden's biggest hurdle. With a knife-thin majority in the Senate, he and the Democrats will have to put a serious strong arm on Democratic senators from the Deep South. If only two defect or at least stall, Biden's efforts are dead in the water. While the Democrats have control on the House, that's only good for two years. Add to this, Representatives are more likely to be tied to specific regions within a state than senators. Excellent examples are all over the South. Democratic legislators represent very rural and very conservative districts, despite being on Democrat side of the aisle. If they support gun control efforts, it can land them in nuclear hot water. 

Bear that in mind as the Biden administration moves forward. A lot of the things Biden promised requires Congressional approval. As every past president has learned, and Joe Biden knows but conveniently did not say as he campaigned, getting Congress to agree to pass really controversial matters is incredibly hard to do. 

BAN GUNS 

Biden's idea to ban the AR 15 is flying straight to all kinds of issues, including legal ones. Two mountain-sized hurdles are: 

1) The AR 15 is now the most popular gun in the US. The Supreme Court ruled about popular guns Heller. In two places, the High Court references "common use" of weapons as a reason government cannot regulate them. "Miller's holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those "in common use at the time" finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons," the decision says. 

2) No one knows exactly how many 80% lowers were made and sold. Tracking them down is a logistical nightmare. Local law enforcement, which outnumbers federal officers exponentially, can't even get rid of illegal guns now. Add to this, sheriffs in rural areas - the great majority of land in the US is rural - oppose gun confiscation. Some cities, pulling a page from the liberal handbook, are declaring themselves to be 2A Sanctuary cities. 

Which brings us to another mountain in the way — 

WHY A GUN BAN WON'T WORK 

A gun ban, as Biden discusses, won't work. Technology has advanced to the point where anyone with a computer and access to a 3-D printer can make a gun. A machine shop is no longer needed. Ghost guns indeed! 

Under the Clinton Administration, a 10-year gun manufacturing ban went into place. Guns covered by the ban exploded in price. More importantly, some Democrat legislators paid the price back home and were sent packing in the next election. 

Also, technology has considerably advanced then, giving us the ability to literally cast an AR 15 lower at home with no experience in gun making. Initial reports of these guns say they are on the weak side, but the company has made strides to make the lowers tougher. The Internet is also full of ideas on how to make them stronger. 

Add to this 3-D printing technology" continues to grow. The Justice Department's attempt to ban the software needed to do this is less effective than the government's attempt to stop Progressive Magazine from publishing plans to make nuclear bomb

A magazine ban? Hi-cap mags are even easier to make than a full gun. Buy a spring at the hardware store and twist it into shape. 3-D print the mag, follower and bottom cap and you have a high-cap magazine. 

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NFA 

Getting gun owner to list their weapons with the BATF as an NFA item, even with a grace period for no filing fee, is a non-starter, even if it passes. We already have proof of that. Despite a ban and hefty prison time and fines, plenty of people kept their bump stocks

BACKGROUND CHECKS 

Biden might get this one pushed through, for all the good it will do. This idea has broad appeal. Straw purchases are gonna continue to happen. People will continue to buy guns and give them as gifts. People will continue to sell guns in private sales to people they know. 

Given the American public's already proven record of not complying with gun registration, this is political pandering and posturing. We shall not EVEN go into the lost War on Drugs. 

At the same time, universal background checks will be a boon to FFL holders. Easy money for just doting the paperwork to swap a gun from one hand to another. BATF is approving home-based FFLs

ONLINE SALES 

Given today's commerce, how can Biden ban online sales? Stopping people from promoting and advertising their guns for sale will run into all kinds of First Amendment issues. Add to this, when you buy a gun from somewhere like Bud's, it has to ship to an FFL holder. Biden wants all guns to transfer through an FFL, so where is the problem? If an FFL can order a gun online, is there a real difference between you giving an FFL dealer money for the gun, up front, and he orders it or you paying Bud's and the FFL to receive it? Beyond the technical parts, no. 

Part of his plan also calls for banning the sale of gun parts online. This again runs into 1A issues, but is balanced by the Interstate Commerce Clause that gives Congress the ability to regulate commerce between the states. However, a Mossberg 500 trigger assembly is not a gun and not regulated by the BATF. This is a questionable one from a legal point of view. Support for it is even less certain. 

More regulation on ammo sales is already in the courts with decisions flopping around like a fish on a wood dock. 

RED FLAG 

Biden's idea of red flag law comes from several states that have these in place. Red Flag runs into legal troubles with the 5th and 14th Amendments. Lower courts have mostly upheld these laws as being necessary for safety and security. When this one makes it to the Supreme Court, the current makeup of the court certainly leans toward saying Red Flag is unconstitutional. 

The High Court has two major decisions related to due process already. While not precisely related to red flag law, these major decisions point to supporting individual liberties. The Miranda case is the most famous. The right to a Public Defender, which started in 1937, was expanded not long ago to include people charged with even minor traffic offenses. These decisions make it clear, the government cannot just take someone's rights away. 



SMART GUNS 

Smart guns are Not. Going. To. Happen. For one, firing a gun is a mechanic and chemical action. Mechanics, trigger pull, hammer fall, then create the chemical side, fulminating powder in the primer igniting the powder. Electronic overrides are just a matter of pulling out wires. Besides which electronic guns will not sell as CVA learned. Despite giving shooters improved accuracy, better ignition and less concern about rain all because of electronic powder ignition, the CVA Electra didn't sell. It's now a collector item. 

Despite a study showing 59% of Americans are willing to buy a smart gun, the sales simply are not there. Proof again that pollsters don't always get things right. 

OTHER IDEAS 

One area that does have widespread support, but won't go anywhere, is reducing suicide. Biden finally gets around to admitting this is the biggest gun violence issue. "Biden believes any plan to address the gun violence epidemic must address suicides by firearms, which account for 6 in 10 gun-related deaths but are often left out of the conversation." 

Given Congress' reluctance to do much about the mental health crisis sweeping the nation means this one won't go anywhere. If Congress was willing, it would already be doing something for our veterans. Despite that attention, little was done. 

Biden's plan does have more bullet points to address, but the above are the major ones. Education efforts, like suicide and domestic violence, will receive lots of hot air support, but funding will so scant that nothing of substance will be accomplished. Certainly, his plans to adequately enforce existing law will also receive that same amount of political promise support and the same amount of real support, i.e. not very much.

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