U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Perhaps foretelling worse things to come, the White House Thursday is announcing that the “Biden-Harris Administration” is launching six “initial actions to address the gun violence public health epidemic.”
Joe Biden uses the murders of eight people in Georgia and ten more in Colorado to justify what grassroots Second Amendment activists will doubtless consider a full-frontal attack on constitutional rights while penalizing tens of millions of gun owners for the actions of two killers who weren’t stopped by all of the gun control laws already in place.
According to the White House “fact sheet,” Biden is calling on Congress to “go further” than two background check bills already passed by the House of Representatives. He wants Capitol Hill to close the so-called “boyfriend” and stalking “loopholes” that—the administration claims “allow people found by the courts to be abusers to possess firearms.”
Additionally, the “Biden-Harris administration” wants to ban so-called “assault weapons and high capacity magazines,” repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that protects gunmakers and retailers from junk lawsuits.
“Congress,” they say, “should also pass an appropriate national “red flag” law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass “red flag” laws of their own.”
It is a sweeping package with the following executive actions that appear designed to avoid being mired down on Capitol Hill:
The Justice Department, within 30 days, will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns.” The administration claims “criminals are buying kits containing nearly all of the components and directions for finishing a firearm within as little as 30 minutes and using these firearms to commit crimes.” Biden-Harris lament that such firearms “often cannot be traced” because they lack serial numbers. Biden wants the Justice Department to issue a proposed rule to stop this.
The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act. The Colorado shooter used such a gun in his rampage last month. Many disabled shooters use such devices legitimately.
The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model “red flag” legislation for states. Red flag laws have been debated ad nauseum, with gun rights activists contending they can be abused. Biden wants Congress to pass a national “red flag” law, and legislation providing incentives to the states to adopt their own laws.
The Administration is investing in evidence-based community violence interventions. This is in response to a homicide spike during 2020, and Biden-Harris will take the following steps:
- The American Jobs Plan proposes a $5 billion investment over eight years to support community violence intervention programs. A key part of community violence intervention strategies is to help connect individuals to job training and job opportunities.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is organizing a webinar and toolkit to educate states on how they can use Medicaid to reimburse certain community violence intervention programs, like Hospital-Based Violence Interventions.
- Five federal agencies are making changes to 26 different programs to direct vital support to community violence intervention programs as quickly as possible. These changes mean we can start increasing investments in community violence interventions as we wait on Congress to appropriate additional funds. Read more about these agency actions here.
The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking. “In 2000,” the White House release says, “the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) issued a report summarizing information regarding its investigations into firearms trafficking, which is one way firearms are diverted into the illegal market where they can easily end up in the hands of dangerous individuals…But there is good reason to believe that firearms trafficking channels have changed since 2000, for example due to the emergence of online sales and proliferation of “ghost guns.” DOJ will issue a new report, the White House says.
The President will nominate David Chipman to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. ATF has not had a confirmed director since 2015. Chipman served at ATF for 25 years “and now works to advance commonsense gun safety laws,” the administration says. Fox News is calling Chipman “an advocate of greater gun control.” According to Politico, he is currently senior policy advisor at Giffords, the gun prohibition lobbying group founded by former Congresswoman Gabriel “Gabby” Giffords and husband Mark Kelly, now a U.S.Senator representing Arizona.
Word of the Biden-Harris offensive emerged Wednesday, and there was swift reaction from Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. CCRKBA is a grassroots gun rights group with affiliates across the country, while SAF is emerging as a legal powerhouse with more than 30 active lawsuits currently in progress challenging the kinds of restrictive gun control laws supported by Biden and like-minded anti-gunners.
Gottlieb told Fox News, “I think that President Biden will try to get away with as much as he can with executive orders.”
He said SAF is “prepared to go to court” in the event Biden attempts to push the envelope.
For the past month, SAF and CCRKBA have been waging an on-air fight against federal legislation dealing with background checks, gun registration and owner licensing, and other restrictions. One measure, H.R. 127, would require gun buyers to undergo a psychological evaluation, a proposal that gun rights activists have said is clearly unconstitutional.
When he was in the Senate, Biden led the fight to ban so-called “assault weapons” for ten years, but in 2004, Congress allowed that ban to die, and research in the aftermath has suggested the ban did not make a significant difference in violent crime overall.
There is a difference between an “executive action” and “executive order,” that apparently many people don’t understand. In a 2018 article at ThoughtCo., writer Tom Murse noted, “(M)any critics [misunderstand] the definition of executive actions and the difference with legally binding executive orders.”
Executive orders, he explained, are “legally binding directives from the president to federal administrative agencies.”
Executive actions, which during the Obama administration dealt with such things as “universal background checks on anyone trying to buy guns” or “cracking down on straw purchases of guns by people whose intention is to resell them to criminals—carried none of the weight executive orders carry,” he wrote.
Just how well the Biden-Harris gun control scheme will fare is open to speculation. What is not speculation is that gun owners are bracing for battle.
The National Rifle Association says its membership is growing, despite all the current legal problems, while SAF and CCRKBA have seen dramatically increasing interest with new members and supporters, and part of the credit goes to the aggressive advertising campaigns those groups have been conducting for more than a month on more than a dozen networks.
About Dave Workman
Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.
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