Understanding How Biden's Orders Treat Gun Owners Like Criminals

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Gun owners see new gun control measures and understand one very important thing right from the start. They get that these new laws don’t actually do much to stop criminals, but they damn sure make life harder for the good guys.

In every single case you care to name, gun control laws haven’t actually stopped criminals from doing whatever they want. They just adjust as needed to get around the laws.

President Joe Biden’s latest efforts are a case in point.

Biden would require the Justice Department to create a new rule “to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act.” The only purpose of this policy is to undo Supreme Court precedent and subject more innocent gun-owners to federal regulation, including registration requirements. The notion that a device with lawful functions should become restricted (to only those who register it) because there are ways to use it for illegal purposes is not a notion any free people ought to accept.

Biden also wants to crack down on “ghost guns,” self-assembled firearms that don’t fall under a legal classification and are therefore exempt from mandatory background checks and serial numbers. It is totally legal in America for people to build their own firearms. Biden wants to make sure that it is as difficult as possible to do so.

We’ll have to wait for the legal text proposed by the Justice Department, but it is likely Biden will go after the businesses that supply self-assembly firearm kits. Again, the point here is to restrict access.

Do criminals build ghost guns? Perhaps a small number do. But again, a free country does not treat the whole population as criminals. The existence of ghost guns makes regulating firearm ownership more difficult. This is not a bad thing, as the nation’s Founding Fathers would agree. In a modern context, it forces the authorities to abandon the foolish pursuit of gun-control laws, whose main effect has always been to tack longer sentences onto defendants who are even more disproportionately nonwhite than those prosecuted for drug crimes. Once the discriminatory fool’s errand of gun control has been abandoned, policymakers will have to focus on anti-crime initiatives that have a chance of actually working.

Biden’s attempt to restrict ghost guns and stabilizing braces will be the policies to watch closely. He is clearly trying to test the waters to see whether these restrictions hold up. If they do, he will undoubtedly pursue an even more aggressive agenda. He’s already promised as much.

I agree.

Biden wants more gun control. He’s doing this now because he feels this is the best he can get away with, but even if he’s uninterested in a total ban–something I wouldn’t put money on–he still clearly wants more than restrictions on homebuilt firearms and stabilizing braces. He just doesn’t know if he can pull it off.

Frankly, trying to ban “ghost guns” is a fool’s errand anyway. We live in a world of 3D printers. You can make an entire firearm with plastic, including multi-shot weapons, so the sooner people accept that the sooner we can move on and, as the editorial above says, move onto the that actually have a chance of working.

Until then, I have no choice but to believe that the effort to treat law-abiding citizens like they’re criminals isn’t some bug in the effort, but the whole point of everything being done.

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