Well, ladies and gents, the wait is over.
We all knew this day would come. Today, we have it. President Joe Biden has issued a number of executive orders relating to gun control.
After all, gun control groups have been pushing this since his inauguration. Biden himself campaigned on gun control, so it’s unsurprising. All that was left up for debate was what he’d do and just when.
Now, we know.
Address “Ghost Guns”
Unsurprisingly, Biden began his focus on homebuilt firearms. “Reign in the proliferation of so-called ghost guns,” Biden began. He went on to argue that anyone from a criminal to a terrorist could build a gun in as little as 20 or 30 minutes, which is news to most of us who’ve tried to build one for the first time. However, Biden wasn’t letting that get in the way, nor the fact that millions of law-abiding citizens build guns with these kits lawfully.
Instead, Biden is ordering that key components of these kits be serialized, thus making them traceable.
Of course, that also means there will be a dividing line between what is a receiver and what isn’t–just as there is now, of course–and someone will simply make a kit that is just on the other side of that line.
Gun Tracing and Trafficking
Additionally, Biden is ordering the Justice Department to release new annual report to address gun trafficking. This was something done years ago, but the world has changed since then.
In and of itself, this one isn’t too bad. At least, it won’t be if it focuses on illicit firearms and not the buying habits of ordinary Americans.
Address AR Pistols
Next, he took issue with AR-style pistols. This isn’t overly surprising considering the shooter in Boulder used such a weapon. In particular, he focused on pistol braces, which he claimed makes these weapons more lethal than a rifle.
Yes, roll your eyes. I did.
Basically, Biden wants to start treating these pistols–at least those with the braces–like they’re short-barreled rifles and subject to the National Firearms Act. That could turn millions of legal gun owners into criminals overnight, unless they registered their legally purchased firearms with the federal government.
Red Flag Laws
Biden also voice his support for red flag laws. He renewed his call for legislation that would facilitate states passing their own red flag laws. Beyond that, though, he issued an order that will theoretically help states pass them. In particular, he wants justice department to publish a red flag law template.
Beyond that, though, Biden called for an increase in funding for anti-gun violence measures in many communities. Additionally, he also spoke on his appointment of David Chipman as head of the ATF, downplaying his role as a gun control activist over past decade while talking up his career at the ATF (or the AFT as Biden called it on several occasions).
The president didn’t confine himself to just talking about executive orders, either. He urged Congress to pass the bills currently in the Senate such as closing the so-called Charleston Loophole by giving NICS longer to complete a background check and passing the universal background check bill.
During his speech, Biden claimed if you go to a gun show, you can buy anything you want without a background check. Of course, that’s patently false. He also said pretty much the same thing about buying a gun on the internet.
BIDEN: "You go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want–no background check." pic.twitter.com/TbvfDPEwlp
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 8, 2021
Additionally, he called on Congress to reauthorize the Violece Against Women Act which he says will close the so-called boyfriend loophole.
In short, none of this is surprising, but all of it is troubling. Not to Biden, though. Calling it a public health crisis, Biden insisted that none of his proposals aren’t a violation of the Second Amendment. He invoked the old canard of how you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater to defend his comments. He added, “From the beginning, you couldn’t own any weapon you wanted to own.”
Of course, letters of marque were a thing from the very beginning of our country, which means heavy artillery was in private hands, so I’m not sure where he gets that from.
Regardless, Biden repeated claims that this is not a partisan issue, citing reports that most people support things like background checks.
Not that any of that will matter. As it stands, without at least 10 Republicans crossing over to support the bills in the Senate–something unlikely to happen just because President Biden called for it–none of that is going to happen. Even without that, though, we’re going to have a lot to deal with from just these executive orders.