Joe Biden likes to brag about how he “took on the NRA and won” as a senator during the 1990s. But, as chief executive, he has signed exactly zero gun-control bills into law, and his prospects for doing so become more challenging each day due to your vigilance in defending our rights.
But it hasn’t been for lack of desire or effort on his part. Biden remains a committed firearm prohibitionist, and he would gladly ban and seize any class of firearms he could.
Moreover, he isn’t giving up on the issue. Instead, he is turning his attention toward executive actions to clamp down, not on criminals, but on all Americans’ access to firearms.
Last March, The New York Times ran a hit piece against a federal official named Marvin Richardson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). His offenses, according to that article, were being “industry-friendly” and attending a conference hosted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group for America’s firearms and ammunition companies.
But that’s like saying the police chief who attends a meeting of a local civic association is getting too cozy with potential lawbreakers, rather than considering the occasion an opportunity for the chief to promote cordial and cooperative relationships for the betterment of the whole community.
The Times article reflects a bizarre view of how ATF should regulate legitimate industry, but it speaks volumes as to how gun- controllers view government officials. Simply put: If they’re not actively trying to shut down firearms and ammunition businesses by any means possible, they’re not doing their jobs.
David Chipman, Biden’s nominee to lead the ATF, certainly reflected this worldview.
Chipman was on record belittling America’s law-abiding gun owners and bashing the lawful and constitutionally protected industries the ATF licenses and regulates. The Times article underscored how his nomination’s failure is still mourned by gun-control advocates who had designs on turning the ATF into a dedicated subsidiary of their own anti-gun operation.
Though Biden failed to install an avowed gun-control activist to oversee the U.S. arms industry and further clamp down on law-abiding gun owners, he is still trying to stretch the laws themselves to compel even neutral and professional ATF officials to enforce wide-ranging restrictions on guns.
He is hoping to achieve this with enforcement policies and legal interpretations crafted by bureaucrats who have no law-enforcement experience pursuing actual criminals, as Mr. Richardson has. With certain exceptions (notably Chipman himself), such experience usually promotes an understanding of the difference between good guys conscientiously trying to follow the rules and bad guys who consider rules irrelevant.
One glaring example of this is ATF’s recent shift in enforcement policy toward applications to make firearm suppressors from parts kits. ATF is suddenly refusing to approve these applications, because (so the argument goes) each part in the kit is already a “silencer” under the law. According to the ATF, this means that the companies selling the parts kits must themselves be licensed as silencer manufacturers and must transfer the kits as if they were already functional silencers.
The result is that many hundreds of applications to register and pay taxes on firearm suppressors are being denied by ATF, not because the applicants are doing anything wrong or sneaky, but because it is the course of action most likely to strangle the legal do-it-yourself suppressor market.
ATF apparently fears people may use these kits to make suppressors illegally. But rather than target those criminals, who would be breaking clearly established law, ATF denies the applications of those trying to follow the law.
This mentality also runs through two pending rulemakings ATF will soon finalize to expand its jurisdiction to regulate unfinished receivers and pistol stabilizing braces.
No one disputes there are legitimate reasons for people to make their own firearms or to attach a stabilizing brace to a large-frame pistol. People have been lawfully making their own guns since before the country’s founding. And stabilizing braces allow certain types of firearms to be used with more control and more accuracy (i.e., more safely), especially for those with physical challenges.
But, because Biden and his gun-control enablers think they could be misused, everyone must be restricted from having them.
Under that “logic,” no one should be allowed to have firearms at all.
That, of course, is the desired end game.
And that is why liberty-loving voters must support lawmakers and candidates this November who will use the power of the purse to ensure regulatory agencies like ATF are not used to carry out Joe Biden’s ideological attacks on law-abiding gun owners.