Why midterms matter for gun rights

Why midterms matter for gun rights
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

We’re less than a week away from the midterms. Early voting has already kicked off in a number of places. It’s time for people to step up and make their voices heard.

At least in theory.

However, a lot of people simply don’t vote in the midterms. They’re not interested in Senate or House races, much less local politics. They want to just wait until the next presidential cycle to worry about any of it.

With how toxic politics can be, I get it.

The problem is that the midterms matter, as NRA-ILA’s Jason Ouimet notes:

In August, a sprawling regulation took effect that fundamentally changes what counts as a regulated “firearm” under federal law. Certain firearm parts, parts kits and even unfinished receiver blanks will now be treated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as if they were operable guns, with all the bureaucracy and restrictions that implies.

The rule is as audacious as it is indecipherable in its details. ATF is vastly expanding its own law enforcement jurisdiction, simply by unilaterally redefining the main commodity it regulates.

There is one sure way to counter the runaway Biden administration’s executive overreach, however—elect pro-gun majorities to Congress.

Now, that might look like a simple plea for sanity. After all, a pro-gun Congress isn’t going to pass new gun control regulations. As it stands, the Senate has blocked most proposals, but we saw that it doesn’t take a lot of Republicans willing to sign on to negate filibuster.

The most shocking thing is it hasn’t happened more.

Yet it’s held firm. But we’ve still seen anti-gun moves from the Biden administration and there’s little reason to think Brandon is close to being finished.

That’s where a pro-gun majority comes into play.

A pro-gun House of Representatives does more than simply ensure any legislative proposal to restrict Second Amendment rights is DOA. It serves as a bulwark against the executive himself.

Members of the House also wield the power of the purse and can defund specific agency actions or cut entire agency budgets. The huge spending bills that Congress is required to pass to keep the government running originate in the House and have been used to block various firearm-registration schemes and to prevent ATF overreach. Indeed, the Obama administration’s brazen attempt to ban M855 ammunition ended in part because the pro-gun chairman of a key House appropriations subcommittee threatened to “step on [ATF’s] air hose.”

House committees can also hold hearings to expose executive abuse, something that would be extremely helpful to curb ATF’s current “zero tolerance” revocation policy for firearms dealers.


A pro-gun Congress means that the Biden administration would be extremely limited in what actions they could take. With a strong enough majority, they can even overturn executive orders by passing legislation overriding the president’s order, then overriding the inevitable veto.

That’s not realistic, mind you, but a theoretical possibility.

Yet as Ouimet argues, there’s still plenty they can do to restrain an out-of-control, anti-gun administration.

That’s why the midterms, especially these midterms, matter.

With a solid majority, we can start to try and roll back the abuses the administration has heaped onto the Second Amendment and the American people. We can restrain the ATF and even do something about the FBI’s nonsense.

We can do something about this. We can start to shore up the defenses of the Second Amendment, to apply a tourniquet to stop the bleeding until better care can be administered. But that doesn’t matter if people ignore the midterms and just put their trust in the next presidential election.