There’s no doubt that the firearm industry and firearm enthusiasts generally consider former Vice President Joe Biden the worst possible choice for president. That’s after the Libertarian candidate, possibly the Green Party candidate, and especially toenail fungus. However, it’s not universal. Some people really don’t get just how bad a Biden presidency could be for guns and gun rights.
See, part of Biden’s policy proposals could spell dire circumstances for the firearm industry itself.
According to his website, Biden will work to “repeal riders” that get in the way of his agenda. What does this mean? The former U.S. senator wants to get rid of the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts public access to sensitive, law enforcement-only firearm tracing data. This restriction is supported by Congress, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and law enforcement groups such as the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) because it secures sensitive tracing information which would jeopardize on-going criminal investigations and put the lives of law enforcement officers, cooperating retailers and witnesses at risk.
Now, this is important because trace-data restrictions don’t apply to law enforcement. They have full access if needed for an investigation, and they make use of it.
However, what Biden and others who oppose the Tiahrt Amendment want to do with it is something far more insidious. Especially when taken in light of Democrats’ desire to repeal the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
Why should trace data not be made public? Gun control groups try to use these data to argue a trace is a signal that a law-abiding firearm retailer did something wrong if a firearm they legally sold after a background check ended up being traced for any reason. That is simply not the case. As the ATF has repeatedly stated, “The appearance of [a licensed dealer] or a first unlicensed purchaser of record in association with a crime gun or in association with multiple crime guns in no way suggests that either the federal firearms licensed dealer (FFL) or the first purchaser has committed criminal acts. Rather, such information may provide a starting point for further and more detailed investigation.” (Crime Gun Trace Analysis Reports, ATF, 1998).
The danger of releasing trace data is not a hypothetical one. In fact, the pandemic of frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers being in the 1990s stirred the need for such a law to protect privacy. These cases misused trace data as a substitute for actual evidence of wrongdoing by members of the industry. These same lawsuits gave rise to the bipartisan Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that the Biden-Harris campaign wants to repeal.
Now, let’s also note that anti-gunners believe they found a loophole in the PLCAA. Remington has been dealing with a lawsuit regarding the Sandy Hook shooting where anti-gunners are attacking the company’s marketing, saying it was negligent in its advertising and is thus responsible for the shooting.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they’ve got a leg to stand on personally, but I’m not an attorney from the Northeast, a very anti-gun region of the country. Who knows what will fly up that way.
However, now imagine they can start hitting every mom and pop gun store with that same degree of force, all because someone who did something bad did it with a gun that was originally purchased at that store? Oh, it’s not their fault and anyone with half a brain knows it. That’s not what it’s about, though.
See, remember during the lockdown when anti-gunners vehemently opposed gun stores being allowed to remain open? They didn’t have an argument that wasn’t all about how dangerous COVID-19 was, but that wasn’t their wheelhouse. It betrayed the truth. All they want to see is a world where it’s impossible to get your hands on a firearm.
If every gun store in America is forced to shut down, thus eliminating your ability to buy a gun, then why do they need to push for gun control.
With trace data, they can target gun stores and then claim that the sales person said or did something wrong, something they can sue the gun store for. Most gun stores are small businesses. They can’t afford that kind of thing.
Then, with fewer outlets to sell firearms, the manufacturers are going to have major problems. We saw what happened over the last few years when there was too much of a backlog. Companies were in a bad place. Now imagine they can’t find outlets to sell their products?
All of this could completely unravel the firearm industry as a whole, especially as larger retailers are becoming more and more reluctant to sell firearms at all thanks to anti-gun campaigns.
The truth of the matter is that the public doesn’t need that trace data. No good can come of it. As the above-linked post goes on to note, people’s lives are put in danger with this kind of thing as well as the threats to the firearm industry as a whole.
Yet does Joe Biden care about any of that? Of course not. We’re the wrong sort for him to give a damn about.