GOP senators seek to block Biden gun rules

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

President Joe Biden has made his pronouncements from on high. He’s decided to completely remake the rules surrounding so-called ghost guns.

He’s done that and there’s nothing that can be done to stop him, right?

Well, not really. There are legal challenges, for one thing. However, Sen. Ted Cruz and a couple of his colleagues are trying something else.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced that he will introduce a Congressional Review Act Joint Resolution of Disapproval (CRA) to prohibit President Biden’s Department of Justice from implementing a new rule to expand firearm definitions. Sens. Lankford (R-OK), Braun (R-IN) and Lee (R-UT) are partnering with Sen. Cruz in introducing the resolution.

The Biden administration wants to institute a final rule redefining a “firearm” under federal law to not only mean a complete product, but also its individual parts, often included in a weapons parts kit. If implemented, this new rule would require gun kits and gun parts to be regulated as if they were fully functional firearms—meaning they wouldn’t be able to be sold without a serial number or without the buyer having to undergo a background check. The new rule would also require those with Federal Firearms Licenses to retain records permanently, in effect creating a national firearms registry. The current rule, which the Biden administration seeks to change, allows for the disposal of records after 20 years.

Upon announcing that he would introduce the resolution, Sen. Cruz said:

“For the past two years, we’ve seen crime rates skyrocket all across the country, aided by Democrats’ soft-on crime policies and left-wing district attorneys operating like progressive activists instead of law enforcement officers. Democrats would love nothing more than to shift the blame and stoke anti-gun sentiment, and create a permanent national gun registry in the process. By introducing this resolution, we’re pushing backwe want to stop the Biden administration from issuing the final rule expanding the definition of firearms and instituting a national gun registry, we want to stop the false narrative that links the rise in crime to ‘ghost guns,’ and firearms, and we want to protect law-abiding citizens who are exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

Sen. Lankford said:

“Crime is going up in far-left cities because of soft-on-crime policies. Biden’s response is to clamp down on guns put together in a kit. Federal law already prohibits felons from owning or possessing any gun, including so called ‘ghost guns,’” said Lankford. “This is another attempt by the Biden Administration to strip law-abiding citizens of their Second Amendment rights instead of addressing the failed policies that have led to increased crime across the country. This action by the Biden Administration is not going to solve rising crime rates. Senator Cruz and I are pushing to overturn this rule and will introduce a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn it.”

Sen. Lee said:
“Congress was explicit in the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act that federal gun registries are prohibited. Nevertheless, the Biden Administration and the ATF are determined to restrict Second Amendment rights. The Biden Administration is willing to exceed legal authority, deliberately misinterpret the law, and ignore explicit prohibitions to enact its radical anti-gun agenda.“

Now, it should come as no surprise that I agree fully with this. I’m far from alone.

Aidan Johnston, Director of Federal Affairs for Gun Owners of America said, “Biden’s recent move to expand our nation’s gun registry is illegal, and we applaud Senator Cruz and his senate colleagues on fighting this unconstitutional rule with a CRA.”

Johnson also noted that he and his organization were prepared to take it to the courts. “We will sue the Biden administration to halt the implementation of this anti-Second Amendment rule and are pleased to see members of the senate sending a clear message that they will not tolerate this unlawful abuse of authority,” he said.

And let’s be clear folks, it is an unlawful abuse of authority. What Biden has done here is basically create new laws with a stroke of his pen. That’s not how our system is meant to work.

“BuT tRuMp AlReAdY dId ThIs WiTh BuMp StOcKs AnD iT wAs uPhElD bY tHe CoUrTs.”

Oh, understand that I recognize the role the Trump administration played in this. Had he not done the bump stock ban, we might not be in this mess right now.

Yet bad as that was, this goes even beyond it.

All the bump stock ban required was for the ATF to reverse a previous decision on whether bump stocks were machine gun parts or not. It was wrong, but it was a simple administrative move.

This, however, remakes entire sections of the law, including a requirement that guns made before 1964 be serialized, among other things. It goes beyond what happened with the bump stock ban.

My hope is that Sens. Cruz, Braun, Lankford, and Lee are able to block this, though I’m skeptical they will because of the current makeup of the Senate. If not, may the courts intervene.