Jill Biden Pushes for Gun Control Ahead of SOTU Speech

Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool

Will Joe Biden repeat his call for a gun ban in his State of the Union speech on Thursday night? I'd say it's almost guaranteed given how frequently he impotently demands that Congress go after so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines. 


We got a pretty big hint that Biden will once again target our Second Amendment rights when Jill Biden spoke to the National Parent Teacher Association’s legislative conference on Tuesday, where she made gun control the main topic of her speech. 

Biden – one of the president’s top surrogates, a trusted partner, and perhaps the person who knows him best – is juggling teaching with her official duties as first lady, telling the PTA conference that she had just given her class midterm exams earlier in the day. She is also actively hitting the campaign trail for her husband, making a four-state battleground swing last weekend as she courted women voters and delivered a clear message on former President Donald Trump.

But she kept the focus on the scourge of gun violence Tuesday, warning, “We can’t let this keep happening.”

Biden pointed to a series of executive actions her husband has taken on the issue; the creation of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention; the gun safety law passed by Congress; and investments in mental health programs, community violence prevention and school security.

“These changes will save lives, but they’re not enough. We need to pass universal background checks. We need laws that make sure guns are stored safely so children can’t pick them up off a nightstand or take them out of a drawer. And we have to ban assault weapons nationally now,” she said to applause.

Biden’s remarks may offer a preview of one of the many topics the president could cover later this week as he delivers the State of the Union address, marking one of his most closely watched moments before the November election.


I'd be shocked if Biden doesn't bring up gun control on Thursday night. But will he say anything new or just regurgitate his favorite talking points: gun makers are the enemy, Americans don't need AR-15s, and Congress needs to do more. And how many lies will he tell during the portion of his address that deals with gun laws? In his 2022 SOTU Biden falsely claimed that the firearms industry is "the only industry in America that can’t be sued," while last year he claimed that mass shootings "tripled" after the 1994 ban on modern sporting rifles expired in 2004; a statistic that depends entirely on how "mass shooting" is defined. 

What whoppers will Biden tell this time around? Will he take credit for "bringing down the NRA" or for the dramatic decline in homicides seen in most U.S. cities last year? Will he once again declare that Americans couldn't own cannons when the Second Amendment was ratified, or trot out his line about deer wearing Kevlar vests? 

With a divided Congress, any legislative actions that Biden suggests are already dead in the water, so will he instead announce new executive actions on guns? The ATF is already finalizing its rule on who is "engaged in the business" of selling firearms, and it's doubtful that any additional rules proposed by the agency could be finalized and enacted before Election Day, but that doesn't mean that Biden won't get the ball rolling on something new, even if it might not take effect until after voters have weighed in. 


Anything that Biden says to rile up his base will also energize Second Amendment activists, but the president can't afford to ignore the gun control lobby when his polling numbers are as atrocious as they are at the moment. He has to say something to satisfy the anti-gunners. The only real question is whether he says anything we haven't already heard before. 

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