Everytown Wants to Use Executive Actions to Gut the Second Amendment

posted on December 17, 2020
Gage Skidmore courtesy Flickr

Apparently, the people at Everytown for Gun Safety, the anti-Second Amendment zealots funded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, believe the presidency is a sort of kingship, one where a president can write his or her own laws at will, even though these laws would clearly be contrary to the U.S. Constitution.

Recently, Everytown released a “roadmap” for the gun-control actions the group wants Joe Biden to take—“outlining ways the Biden administration can address gun violence through executive action,” to be precise—that would help gut the Second Amendment.

And these actions, as NRA-ILA noted, are illegal!

A key statement from Everytown’s roadmap: “The President can also declare gun violence to be a public health emergency, opening a broad set of powers to accelerate steps to prevent gun violence.”

With a public-health “emergency” ploy set in place, Biden, Everytown argued, could then use executive actions to “swiftly enact executive orders that would regulate the tracking of homemade firearms, require background checks for virtually all gun sales and mandate dealers notify the F.B.I. when they complete gun sales before completing a background check,” according to The New York Times.

Under federal law, a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder must run a federal background check before the FFL can transfer the firearm to the buyer, with some exceptions for those purchasers who have proof of being exempt from the requirement; such as those with a qualifying state-issued carry permit. The background check is supposed to be “instant,” or as close as practicable, as in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Of course, “instant” may not always be possible to deliver on, and so the same federal law gives NICS a three-business-day leeway. If, after those three business days, NICS has not denied the applicant, the FFL can transfer the firearm to the buyer at their discretion.

As NRA-ILA noted, “The Bloomberg proposal to force FFLs to notify the FBI whenever they complete a firearms transfer following the FBI’s failure to complete a background check within three days is an obvious attempt to intimidate FFLs into not transferring a firearm to individuals burdened by FBI’s inability to perform what is supposed to be an ‘instant’ background check. This would curtail the ability of many individuals who routinely experience a lengthy NICS to access firearms at all.”

NRA-ILA added, “This [three day] provision ensures that the FBI is not empowered to indefinitely delay a gun sale, either for an inability to conduct a background check or out of malevolence...this three-day safety-valve provision is vital and its elimination would turn the right to keep and bear arms into a privilege.”

Also, there is the issue of unfinished firearm frames and receivers, sometimes referred to as 80-percent frames or receivers. These are what Everytown and other anti-gunners like to call “ghost guns,” which is an obvious attempt to give these parts a scary name. Everytown wants these gun parts treated as actual firearms, which would mandate background checks before they can be transferred.

But treating gun parts as firearms would violate the current federal legal and regulatory definitions of what does and does not constitute a firearm. And an executive order or action can’t simply trample over federal law or rewrite the Code of Federal Regulations.

Legalities aside, “By targeting the materials Americans use to make their own firearms, Everytown and Biden would be striking at the core of the Second Amendment right in a manner that has no basis in the text, history and tradition of the right,” NRA-ILA said. “Since long before the founding, Americans have enjoyed the right to make their own firearms for personal use without government interference.”

Everytown even wants a Biden executive order to mandate that a citizen could sell no more than five firearms per year.

Everytown and Bloomberg know they can’t simply erase the Second Amendment or the federal laws concerning firearms. Yet, they hope that Biden will implement a series of executive orders that effectively kneecap Second Amendment to make it functionally and practically untenable to exercise. They intend to create an executive order “smokescreen” and, in the process, will deny us our rights and freedoms as Americans.


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