Let me suggest a theory as to why Joe Biden has been so slow to move on any new executive orders dealing with gun control, even though anti-gun groups like Brady and Giffords are growing increasingly upset over his inaction; the president knows that as soon as he puts pen to paper and signs any new executive branch restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, his son’s problem with controlling his own gun is going to become a much bigger story than it already is.
On Friday, POLITICO reported that Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Ron Johnson sent letters to the Secret Service, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives demanding more information and records about a 2018 incident where Biden’s then-girlfriend Hallie (who was also his sister-in-law, having been married to Hunter’s brother Beau until his death from cancer) took a handgun that belonged to Hunter Biden and threw it in a trashcan. When Hallie Biden went back later to retrieve it, however, the gun was gone. As POLITICO reported:
Delaware police began investigating, concerned that the trash can was across from a high school and that the missing gun could be used in a crime, according to law enforcement officials and a copy of the police report obtained by POLITICO.
But a curious thing happened at the time: Secret Service agents approached the owner of the store where Hunter bought the gun and asked to take the paperwork involving the sale, according to two people, one of whom has firsthand knowledge of the episode and the other was briefed by a Secret Service agent after the fact.
The gun store owner refused to supply the paperwork, suspecting that the Secret Service officers wanted to hide Hunter’s ownership of the missing gun in case it were to be involved in a crime, the two people said. The owner, Ron Palmieri, later turned over the papers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which oversees federal gun laws.
The Secret Service says it has no record of its agents investigating the incident, and Joe Biden, who was not under protection at the time, said through a spokesperson he has no knowledge of any Secret Service involvement.
The gun was later turned in by a man who discovered it while rummaging through the trash behind the grocery store where Hallie Biden threw it away, and no charges were ever brought in the incident. Multiple sources, including one that POLITICO says had “direct knowledge”, claim that the Secret Service got involved with trying to take the paperwork involving Biden’s gun purchase, and on Friday afternoon the New York Post reported on a text message from Hunter Biden himself that would seem to confirm the Secret Service responded to the incident.
“She stole the gun out of my trunk lock box and threw it in a garbage can full to the top at Jansens [sic]. Then told me it was my problem to deal with,” Hunter wrote.
“Then when the police the FBI the secret service came on the scene she said she took it from me because she was scared I would harm myself due to my drug and alcohol problem and our volatile relationship and that she was afraid for the kids.”
Hoo-boy. There are several things about this incident that are problematic for Joe Biden and his gun control agenda. For starters, unlawful users of drugs and drug addicts are supposed to disclose that information when they fill out the federal form required for a NICS background check, and it’s actually a disqualifying factor. Biden apparently checked the box marked “no” on the Form 4473 in response to the question asking if he was an “unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”
Ordinarily, of course, it’s tough to determine whether or not someone’s lying about their drug use, unless they have a criminal record documenting it, and prosecutions for lying on the Form 4473 are pretty rare. It does happen, however, as in the case of a Connecticut man who was charged by federal authorities after he admitted to smoking marijuana while he was a gun owner.
Hunter Biden’s struggles with drug use are pretty well known at this point, and it does beg the question as to whether or not the ATF or the Justice Department ever even looked into charging Hunter Biden with a similar offense.
There’s another issue in this case, though, that hasn’t received as much attention in the press. Months before Hallie Biden threw her boyfriend/brother-in-law’s gun into the trash, Delaware Gov. John Carney signed the Beau Biden Gun Prevention Act (named for her late husband and her boyfriend’s brother) into law. What exactly does the law do? Well, here’s a portion of the governor’s press release from April 30th, 2018.
The Beau Biden Act, passed unanimously by the General Assembly, will help restrict access to firearms for those who mental health professionals believe present a danger to themselves or others. The Act, which takes effect six months after its signing, mirrors legislation championed by former Attorney General Beau Biden in 2013.
“I am honored to sign this legislation, and to help carry on Beau’s legacy and his commitment to protecting Delawareans,” said Governor Carney. “The Beau Biden Gun Violence Prevention Act is important, common sense legislation – and one piece in a package of comprehensive gun safety reform that will help make our state safer. This law will ensure that law enforcement and health professionals are working more closely together to confront the issue of gun violence and mental health. And it will help keep firearms away from those who may pose a danger to themselves or others, while protecting due process rights, and ensuring continued access to important mental health services.”
“My son Beau always believed that there was room for common sense gun safety legislation. It is something he supported and worked for his whole professional career, including championing a nearly identical bill as Attorney General,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “While that bill came up short of passage before we lost Beau, he was always confident that we would move in the right direction. This bill will make the state of Delaware safer while safeguarding every Delawarean’s rights to due process. It is a fitting tribute to Beau’s legacy.”
That’s right. It’s a red flag law, and as it happens, it went into effect one week after Hallie Biden threw Hunter Biden’s gun into the trash because (according Hunter Biden’s text) she was concerned that Hunter was a danger to himself and others.
This begs the question; if Hunter Biden was a danger to himself (and potentially, Hallie Biden’s children) on October 23rd, 2018, was he still a danger a week later? If so, why did no member of the Biden family call law enforcement or mental health professionals in an attempt to initiate proceedings to try to bar Hunter Biden from legally owning a firearm, at least temporarily?
Yes, it would have been incredibly embarrassing if the first time the Beau Biden Gun Prevention Act was used, it was Beau Biden’s brother who was temporarily stripped of his right to own a gun, but according to Joe Biden himself it would have been the “common sense gun safety” thing to do.
In fact, there are a couple of questions that Joe Biden should answer here:
Has he ever believed that Hunter Biden posed a threat to himself or others and should have been denied his ability to own a gun?
Does Joe Biden believe that his son’s previous drug use and addiction issues should disqualify him from ever owning a firearm?
And does Joe Biden believe that people who lie about their drug addiction and unlawful drug use on a Form 4473 should face federal prosecution as a result?
At the moment, this story isn’t front page news, but Biden’s strange comment during his Thursday press conference about any executive orders on gun control being a “matter of timing” makes sense if Biden’s waiting for his son’s gun control issue to fade from the news cycle before he tries to impose new restrictions on legal gun owners through executive actions.
Forget Joe Manchin. At the moment, Biden’s biggest gun control problem is named Hunter, and I suspect that the story has a few more twists and turns before it plays itself out.