Biden's enforcement of gun laws near Trump's levels

Biden's enforcement of gun laws near Trump's levels

In the midst of the gun debate, there are a number of camps. Two that get the most press are those that want more gun laws and those that want to see those laws enforced better.


There are many who don’t want to see new laws passed and quite a few that want to see them repealed, but those two occupy a lot of media attention.

Frankly, I’m more sympathetic toward those who want to see the current laws enforced, which is probably pretty obvious. While I don’t think gun laws are constitutional as a general thing, it makes far more sense to point out how poorly the laws currently on the books are enforced when debating whether or not to pass new laws.

Over at the Tenth Amendment Center, they took a look at gun law enforcement numbers and found that there has been a slight dip in them under Biden, but not much of one.

Federal gun control enforcement numbers dipped in 2022, but the Biden administration still aggressively pursued enforcement, and kept things close to record levels.

In his first two years, the Biden administration took up right where Trump left off and generally maintained the record enforcement pace, with just a slight dropoff.

The number of cases recommended for prosecution fell by just under 1,000 cases — from 11,224 in 2021 to 10,138 in 2022. This was roughly the same number of cases recommended for prosecution in 2018. (See Footnote 1)

The number of firearms cases initiated by the ATF fell slightly, from 37,003 in 2021 to 34,436 in 2022.


Now, there might be a question as to whether the Tenth Amendment Center thinks this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Well, the next paragraph should clear that right up for you.

But, as can be seen in the breakdown below, an aggressive level of federal gun control enforcement isn’t something limited to Joe Biden, or even just Democrats. Both parties have utterly failed to abide by the clear restrictions in the Second Amendment.

I don’t disagree, either.

After all, the whole “shall not be infringed” part is pretty damn clear, in my opinion, and gun laws are all kinds of infringement.

But the pragmatic part of me recognizes the argument for what it is: A way to hit back at those who continue to push new gun laws in an effort to further restrict the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms while allowing armed criminals to walk our streets without repercussions.

I see both sides of this, and I think it’s important for us to recognize that while the goal can and should be to roll back these blatantly unconstitutional elements, the first thing we have to do is halt the advance of gun control as a whole.


Whether the enforcement angle will do that or not is a matter of debate. What isn’t, though, is that if we’re not careful, we’ll end up seeing more and more of our rights winnowed away.

Bruen laid a tough rule on lower courts, but you know that the anti-gun side will change the makeup of the Court the first chance they get, so it’s best to halt the spread at the legislative level.

Lashing out at each other when folks are legitimately trying to halt the spread of gun control–as opposed to, say, lashing out at pretty blatant grifting–isn’t exactly beneficial to the Second Amendment cause.

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