If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris actually win the war for the White House next month, one of the first things the pair will likely do when they take office is turn their attention to American gun owners. If Republicans manage to hang on to the U.S. Senate, a Biden/Harris administration would use the power of executive orders to start cracking down on legal gun owners in the name of fighting crime, but if Democrats manage to take the U.S. Senate in addition to the Oval Office, they’ll quickly move to pass Biden’s proposed ban on so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
Gun owners will be left with a choice; hand over your arms to the government in exchance for some amount of cash, or fork over $200 per firearm and magazine in order to register them under the National Firearms Act and the empty promise from Biden that you’ll be able to keep ahold of your guns and magazines.
I’ll say up front that I believe a Biden/Harris administration would have some serious issues with compliance if they try to implement their gun and magazine ban. In New York for instance, a registration requirement for so-called assault weapons under the state’s SAFE Act was ignored by many gun owners, and that experience would likely be replicated on a nationwide scale in the event of a Biden gun ban taking effect.
Just for the sake of argument, though, how much would it cost American gun owners to comply with Biden’s demand? The National Rifle Association’s Andrew Arulanandam estimates that gun owners would pay at least $3.6-billion in taxes if they wanted to legally keep their guns.
A tax of $200 on 18 million AR-15s means that gun owners could potentially be required to a pay a collective $3.6 billion in taxes, if this policy were enacted into legislation.
That figure does not even consider other guns that might be deemed “assault weapons” by Democrats, which could also fall under the same provisions of the National Firearms Act.
The $3.6-billion tab also doesn’t include the cost of registering ammunition magazines that can hold more than 10-rounds, which under Biden’s plan would be classified as “large capacity magazines” and would also have to be registered under the NFA at a cost of $200 per magazine.
Honestly, I’m not sure how a gun owner would even go about registering a magazine under the NFA, since they typically don’t come with any sort of serialized markings that would allow the government to keep track of who owns what. Nevertheless, if Biden tries to implement his gun ban in its current form, the tax on gun owners would likely more than double.
There’s no real estimate of how many “large capacity magazines” are currently in the hands of legal gun owners, but during California’s “Freedom Week” in 2018, when gun owners in the state were briefly allowed to purchase magazines with a capacity of more than ten rounds, it’s estimated that more than one million magazines were sold. Across the country, there are likely tens of millions of magazines that would be classified as “large capacity” by the Biden administration, and at $200 per magazine, many gun owners would simply be unable to comply with Biden’s mandate because of the high cost.
Ultimately, the financial burden Biden’s gun ban would impose on gun owners would ensure that Biden’s buddies in the 1% could avoid legal trouble by registering their so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines, but working class gun owners would be faced with the option of going broke in order to keep their guns, handing them over to the government in exchange for pennies on the dollar, or risk a ten-year federal prison sentence if they’re found in possession of any banned guns or magazines.
In other words, Biden’s ban wouldn’t make anyone any safer, but it would likely create a new class of non-violent criminals who could face years behind bars because they can’t afford to comply and don’t want to give up their legally-owned guns..