President Joe Biden acts as if he's never met a gun control law that he didn't like. Especially not over the last 30 years or so, that's for sure.
Unfortunately for him, he's been stymied in pretty much every bit of legislation he's tried since the Assault Weapon Ban in 1994. Sure, there was the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, but as bad as that was, we all know it was a drop in the bucket for what he wanted.
The most meaningful thing he's accomplished has been in regard to so-called ghost guns and that was only through executive order--one that the courts have already killed.
It matters to Biden, too. That's why he's pushing the Supreme Court to hear an appeal to that previous court ruling.
The Biden administration on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court ruling that would prevent it from regulating privately made firearms called "ghost guns" that are difficult for law enforcement to trace.
The U.S. Department of Justice in its petition argued the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in November wrongly declared that a rule adopted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in 2022 to combat the rapid proliferation of ghost guns was "unlawful."
The rule updated the definition of a "firearm," "frame" and "receiver" under the Gun Control Act of 1968 to address the rise of ghost guns with no serial numbers that can be assembled from kits that can be bought online or at a store without a background check and lack serial numbers.
There were more than 19,000 suspected ghost guns reported in 2021 to the ATF as having been recovered by law enforcement in criminal investigations - a 1,000% increase from 2017, according to the Justice Department.
The Justice Department, on behalf of Democratic President Joe Biden's administration, argued in Wednesday's petition that the 5th Circuit's holding contradicted the Gun Control Act's plain text and would allow anyone to buy a kit online and assemble a fully functional gun without any background checks, records or serial numbers.
The problem for Biden and his anti-gun allies is that the Gun Control Act doesn't preclude the sale of unfinished frame or other parts. That's because until they're receivers, they're not considered firearms. If you want to redefine at what point they become guns, that's one thing, but that's not what Biden sought to do with his executive order.
And if Congress did decide to redefine what makes a gun, someone is going to get to work immediately on one that falls just shy of that standard, thus creating a whole new debate on the same old topic.
What's more, I don't know if Biden really wants to put the GCA in front of this particular Supreme Court.
With the history and tradition standard now enshrined by the Bruen decision, I can't imagine that the GCA is going to fall into that history. I wouldn't rule out the Court basically killing the GCA outright, thus putting all of this to bed once and for all.
That's not what Biden wants. We all know that's not what he wants.
And no, that wouldn't be the cudgel that would finally let him browbeat Congress into expanding the Court. He doesn't have the votes for it no matter what he wants.
But then again, considering the word salad that comes out of the Potato-in-Chief most of the time, I can't rule out him honestly believing he can win this and his staff playing along.