Biden Moves Forward with Gun-Control Plan

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posted on December 21, 2023
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Gage Skidmore courtesy Flickr

On Dec. 13, President Joe Biden’s (D) newly established White House Office on Gun Violence Prevention hosted nearly 100 Democrat lawmakers from 39 states to encourage them to pass more-restrictive firearms laws.

“The agenda is not comprehensive, but highlights actions that states can take to achieve meaningful progress in the next year,” claims an eight-page brochure titled the “Safer States Agenda.”

“In the months ahead, the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention will work with states to make sure they have the resources needed to advance this life-saving agenda,” says the brochure.

Chaired by Vice President Kamala Harris, participants got to witness, firsthand, one of Harris’ favorite and most-often told lies: “We’re up against some who would suggest a false choice. That is that you are either favoring the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone’s guns away. I’ll speak for myself: I am absolutely in favor of the Second Amendment. And I’m also in favor of an assault-weapons ban.”

Not surprisingly, the first recommendation in the brochure is to “Establish a State Office of Gun Violence Prevention.”

“A state Office of Gun Violence Prevention—equipped with clear mandate and experienced personnel—can coordinate resources and accelerate implementation,” the brochure states. “State offices should have sufficient authority to: (a) coordinate across state agencies and with local and federal governments; (b) build gun violence data collection and analysis capacity; (c) develop and implement comprehensive strategies for addressing various types of gun violence; and (d) develop and implement a state plan to prevent targeted violence and effectively respond to incidents of mass shootings and surges in other forms of gun violence.”

Along with suggestions, like investing in alleged solutions to prevent and respond to “gun violence,” the state plan includes several recommendations that would directly infringe on gun owners’ rights.

Under the heading of “Reinforce Responsible Gun Ownership,” the administration’s recommendations overreach rather than reinforce. Those recommendations include passing so-called “safe storage” laws, penalizing those who don’t immediately report a lost or stolen firearm, and pushing for so-called “red-flag” laws that allow a judge to order the confiscation of firearms without due process.

Of course, the administration used the brochure to push “enhanced” background checks for those 18 to 20 years old who want to purchase a firearm. “Universal” background checks were also on the list, even though every licensed gun dealer in the United States—whether in a shop, online, or at a gun show—is required to run a federal background check for any firearm sold.

“States across the country have enacted universal background check legislation to close this loophole and extend the background check requirement to private sales,” the brochure states. “More states should follow suit.”

Additionally, under the header “Hold the Gun Industry Accountable,” Biden called for a ban on many, if not most, common semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns, along with outlawing standard-capacity firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

“In addition to banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, states should ban the possession of unserialized firearms, often referred to as ‘ghost guns,’” the brochure states.

Lastly, the administration sought to enlist the help of anti-gun state lawmakers in its continued attempt to weaken or repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).  

“The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is a federal law that provides gun manufacturers and gun dealers with more protection from legal liability than tobacco companies and alcohol companies,” the brochure states. “This law denies many victims of gun violence their day in court, and prevents the public from holding bad actors accountable for their potentially dangerous design, marketing and sales practices.”

Of course, Biden is fond of repeating this lie again and again, and has been doing so long before he became president. His assertion that the law gives “blanket immunity” to gun manufacturers has been proven false time and again, with even The Washington Post fact checkers saying the claim is not true.

In fact, the law was passed to prevent frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers for the criminal use of legally produced, safe, and lawfully sold products. Manufacturers can be sued for negligence if they make products that are deemed unsafe, and are not protected from civil litigation if they violate existing laws.

Interestingly, even the Biden administration knows that to be true. Biden’s own attorney general, Merrick Garland, testified under oath before Congress that the PLCAA is constitutionally sound, despite the rhetoric coming from the White House and the gun-ban lobby.

“That’s the position the Justice Department takes,” Garland said in response to a question about the PLCAA. “Whether we like the statute or not, we defend the constitutionality of Congress’s work.”

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