Biden Faces Uphill Battle On Gun Plan

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden used the third anniversary of the Parkland massacre to announce his gun control plan. Unsurprisingly, it was many of the things we expected from Biden, most notably an assault weapon ban.

Biden has never supported your right to keep and bear arms, at least not so long as you choose firearms he disapproves of. This is a man who advocated blasting a shotgun through the door, after all, but he doesn’t trust you with an AR-15.

What should be noted, however, is that while Democrats have control of both legislatures, that doesn’t mean he’s got a slam dunk on his gun control plan.

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White House officials met last week with several gun violence prevention groups as they weigh how to move forward on an issue that has stymied Democrats for years.
The White House says President Biden is “personally committed” to action on an issue he has tackled many times in the past. Less than a month into the new administration, Biden officials are meeting with advocates backing reforms that Democrats have been pushing for in Congress, like strengthening background checks.
However, Americans’ views on guns may be even more divided than the last time Biden confronted the issue. A November Gallup poll found support for stricter gun laws is at its lowest level since 2016.
But anti-gun violence groups still see momentum. Brady, Giffords, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action met virtually on Wednesday with Susan Rice, the head of the Domestic Policy Council, and Cedric Richmond, a senior adviser to the president.
The meeting comes as gun sales are on the rise across the U.S., which has been attributed to the concerns that Biden will act on gun control and amid fear and uncertainty around the pandemic and protests over racial injustice.

The latest numbers I’ve heard from the National Shooting Sports Foundation director of public affairs Mark Oliva was that there were 8.4 million new gun owners in the United States. Many of those are going to be people who have magazines or firearms that will fall under Biden’s proposal, meaning a lot of people who the president could ordinarily count on to support his proposal will instead be wondering why they should have to pay $200 to keep something they already own.

Plus, any that more than one magazine for whatever firearms they purchased are looking at more.

This means Biden may start getting more pushback from the left than he might expect. Democrats in districts normally considered quite safe may well start getting inundated with calls and emails demanding they oppose this legislation, all because these new gun owners don’t want to give up their property.

Which shouldn’t be surprising, really. Who does want the government to force them to either pay a fee or give up their lawfully-purchased property?

See, these measures are always easier to pass when it’s the other guy having to pay up or lose out. Yet after the pandemic sent millions of new gun owners to stores, suddenly the other guy isn’t so “other” anymore.

Jul 27, 2021 12:30 PM ET