20 GOP AGs Call Biden's Proposed Gun Regs Unconstitutional

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

The average, everyday gun owner knows that pretty much everything President Joe Biden has proposed with regard to gun control is completely unconstitutional. We know it and we say it.

However, plenty of people dismiss us, telling us we don’t know what we’re talking about. They might suggest that because many of us aren’t attorneys.

Well, they’ve got me. I’m not a lawyer. But these guys are:

Attorneys general of 20 states are fighting back against an “unconstitutional” Biden administration proposal to regulate gun parts.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich led the 20-state coalition in authoring formal comments urging the rejection of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) proposed new rule on firearms parts that followed President Biden’s effort to regulate so-called ghost guns.

“Private individuals and businesses have the right to assemble firearms for their own use — a fact borne out in early American history and expressly recognized by the Gun Control Act,” Morrisey said in a statement. “The Second Amendment is a core tenant of our Constitution, and this regulation would treat the activity of assembling firearm parts as a problem to be stamped out, rather than a right and tradition to be respected.”

Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland earlier this year proposed further regulations of ghost guns to stem gun violence in America. Ghost guns are homemade firearms that aren’t marked with a commercial serial number because such parts have been exempt from federal laws.

The Biden administration effort aims to crack down on individuals buying partially-finished frames and receivers, referred to as “80% receivers,” without undergoing background checks or recordkeeping practices with traditional commercial gun sales. Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun-control group, has argued that the lack of regulation of ghost guns is the fastest-growing gun safety problem in America.

But the GOP-led states contend that federal law authorizes the ATF to regulate complete firearms and receivers, not the individual parts of an incomplete receiver, and new regulations could put certain gun parts manufacturers out of business.

Of course, these attorneys general are absolutely correct. The ATF doesn’t have the authority.

And let’s think of the broader ramifications of this kind of action. If the ATF can regulate anything firearm-related regardless of what the law expressly allows–which is too much, to be fair, but not it’s not everything–then the agency has carte blanche to decide to require background checks on, say, ammunition or accessories.

Now, I know that Biden and company are doing this because they can’t pass anti-Second Amendment legislation right now, so they’re looking for alternatives. I get it.

But what politicians tend to forget is that anything you do can be done by your opponents once they’re in control. In a two-party country like ours, the opposition is always going to get a crack at governing, too. Do Democrats really want an agency to be able to regulate things not permitted by law when the GOP regains the White House?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

So yeah, this current anti-Second Amendment overreach can’t be permitted. If it is, then it’ll open up Pandora’s Box.

Nov 26, 2021 10:30 AM ET