Biden, Harris Want CA-Style Gun Laws, But There's A Problem

It’s no secret that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have plans should they take the White House in November. In fairness, that’s what presidential campaigns are all about, after all. It’s about telling people what you intend to do should you win in hopes that enough will like that kind of thing and vote for you, all so you can win.

One of the plans Team Biden has is, unsurprisingly, gun control. While Democrats have started downplaying the issue and even gun control groups are playing it down in swing states, the issue is already out there and the candidates aren’t taking it back. Frankly, with their records, even if they’d said nothing, we’d have known where they were headed.

Yet it seems someone decided to compare the ways the Democratic nominees would make the nation like California, which included guns.

Ban “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines

What Biden and Harris are proposing:

Few issues unite Democratic voters like gun policy. And so while Biden has tacked to the center of his party on health care and climate policy, when it comes to gun regulations, his proposals are as assertive as any of his erstwhile primary challengers.

Topping that list is his plan to ban both “assault weapons” and magazines that hold more than a certain number of rounds — though he has not specified what that limit should be.

Lawmakers have long struggled to define “assault weapons.” Biden calls for legislation that would “prevent manufacturers from circumventing the law by making minor changes that don’t limit the weapon’s lethality.”

What California is doing:

California banned assault weapons in 1989 and has been building on that ban ever since. But there is no technical definition for the term. For gun restriction advocates, assault weapons fall into that nebulous “you know it when you see it” category of vices. California’s ban nonetheless cobbles together its own definition of banned guns based on a loose assemblage of characteristics: a “semi-automatic, centerfire rifle” with a detachable magazine and at least one of a handful of other suspect features.
In 2016, California voters also approved a ban on magazines that hold 10 rounds or more.

How’s it going here?

Banning a wide category of firearms in the United States is easier said than done.

California’s feature-specific definition of an illegal assault weapon has triggered a cottage industry of firearm add-ons and design tweaks that skirt around the letter of the law, while enthusiastically violating its spirit. It’s a never-ending game of legal and regulatory whack-a-mole as Sacramento bans a particular workaround, only for a new one to pop up.

The state’s high-capacity magazine ban has had an ever tougher go of it. First a district court and then Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal judges have ruled that the state’s ban is unconstitutional.

And only a deluded fool would believe that something like that wouldn’t take place on a national scale. The truth of the matter is that if you create a law, someone is going to try to find a way to get around it legally.

Meanwhile, the very people who represent the lion’s share of our issues simply won’t care. They’ll continue using whatever they can get off the black market. This is especially important since so-called assault rifles are used in only a minute fraction of the crimes committed. Handguns are far more likely to be used by criminals. After all, they small and easier to hide than an AR-15.

In addition to a ban, Team Biden also wants to implement red flag laws on the federal level.

While many argue that these laws work, what we actually see is an approach that even if it were applied precisely as proponents claim would merely take firearms away from dangerous people while still allowing those dangerous people to walk the streets unsupervised.

However, they don’t always work the way proponents claim. We have at least one documented case of someone trying to use the law as a way to get back at an enemy. We have no idea how many others have done so and simply gotten away with it.

At the end of the day, absolutely nothing the Democratic nominees are proposing would do anything to make our country safer. It’ll just allow Democrats to pat themselves on the back in belief they have.