If we have a Joe Biden administration in the White House on Jan. 20, we will have the most overtly anti-gun president in American history.
Biden’s plan lists effectively every gun control measure ever proposed: banning “assault weapons,” banning “high-capacity” magazines, limiting the number of guns an American can purchase, holding manufacturers liable for the criminal misuse of their products, and many, many more.
Out of the myriad options a Biden administration will have to infringe on our constitutional protections, which will they choose first? Based on my experience with clients and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (AFT) as a firearms attorney, some recent news events, and a bit of firearm-industry intuition, I think the first things a Biden administration will do regarding guns if given the chance are:
- Banning pistol braces
- Banning homemade firearms/80 percent receivers
- Banning online firearm and ammunition sales
Shortly after the first bans, and if he has the help of the Senate, the next gun control measures will likely be:
- Banning “assault weapons”
- Banning “high capacity” magazines
- Requiring universal background checks
Let’s examine each of these in turn.
Former national security adviser Susan Rice, President-elect Joe Biden’s reported pick to lead the White House Domestic Policy Council, called for a “permanent” ban on so-called assault weapons in a June appearance with two anti-gun groups.
Rice, who served in former president Barack Obama’s administration, appeared in a video with Moms Demand Action and Everytown For Gun Safety and concurred with Biden’s firearm plan that seeks to ban certain semi-automatic rifles, prohibit “high-capacity magazines,” and do away with liability protections for weapons manufacturers and sellers. Rice has reportedly been chosen for the domestic policy role, Politico reported Thursday.
“[Biden has] taken on the NRA twice and won,” Rice said in the interview with Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts. “When he served with President Obama in the Obama-Biden administration, we implemented over two dozen reforms that put curbs on access to guns, but we need legislation, we need leadership in Joe Biden that understands and is passionate about these issues.”
Rice advocated for laws including “universal background checks, the enactment of a new violence against women act, with a permanent and comprehensive ‘assault weapons’ ban, and a ban on ‘high capacity magazines’ that will work to buy back those assault weapons that are out there and ensure that those that remain are fully registered,” she said.
The former security adviser also went on to say it’s “unthinkable” and “outrageous” that such reforms have not been passed to date.
“It’s unthinkable to me that even though the vast majority of Americans favor common sense gun restrictions, universal background checks, bans on ‘assault weapons’, and we have a very powerful lobby that has effectively prevented so much of that from being enacted,” she said. “It’s absolutely outrageous. It makes me as angry as anything.”
Biden’s gun plan includes a full-scale prohibition on “assault weapons” in addition to re-classifying the guns and “high-capacity magazines” under the National Firearms Act, which would impose registration and a $200 tax for those already in circulation. The total cost to U.S. firearm owners nationwide was estimated to be roughly $34 billion if the law went into effect, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Rice said it’s “vital” to enact the sweeping gun control.
Lisa Folajtar pled guilty in 2011 to federal tax fraud, a felony, which is punishable by up to three years in federal prison and a fine of up to $100,000. In the end, she was sentenced to three years’ probation, fined $10,000, and forced to pay the IRS $250,000 in back taxes, interest, and penalties.
She also permanently lost her right to keep and bear arms. According to federal law, it is unlawful “for any person…who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year…[to] possess…any firearm or ammunition.” In other words, a federal statute has seemingly placed the Second Amendment off-limits to all federal felons.
Folajtar has been fighting that particular act of Congress in federal court since 2018. Last week, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit rejected her constitutional challenge.
The Third Circuit has issued an opinion that has received little attention over the right to bear arms, but it should. The decision in Folajtar v. The Attorney General of the United States may be one of the most perfectly tailored case for major Supreme Court decision. Indeed, the only thing lacking from the 2-1 decision is a mailing label directly to Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
In ruling that a non-violent tax conviction can result in the denial of gun ownership, the panel presents a clean case to further define the contours of the individual rights recognized in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) boasted Thursday about restricting a Fairfax County gun show, citing Coronavirus concerns and tweeting that “selling guns is just not worth it.”
WTOP reported that organizers of the Nation’s Gun Show sought an injunction against Virginia Coronavirus restrictions that would cap show attendance at 250 at one time. The show organizers expected to draw up to 25,000 attendees throughout the weekend of November 20-22.
But Herring argued for the restrictions, claiming the show organizers are “brazenly misinformed” regarding the danger posed by the virus.
Herring used a brief to contend, “The ongoing pandemic has infected more than 200,000 Virginians since March and has killed nearly 4,000 — more than four times the number of automobile fatalities that occurred in all of 2019.”
Virginia Business reports that Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Brett A. Kassabian sided with Herring, rejecting the call for an injunction to block the restrictions.
American gun owners could face tens of billions of dollars in new taxes to keep the guns they already own under Democrat Joe Biden’s gun ban and tax plan.
At least 20 million rifles and 150 million ammunition magazines would be caught up in the sales ban and registration scheme Biden touted on the campaign trail, according to a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) report. The new taxes would cost Americans more than $34 billion, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis.
NSSF told the Washington Free Beacon the sheer number of affected guns and magazines could pose a significant problem for Biden’s gun-control plans.
“I think if [Biden and his team] were smart, they would look at those numbers and get an idea of where America stands on gun ownership and gun rights,” NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva said.
Biden wants to ban new sales of AR-15 rifles and similar firearms as well as any ammunition magazine holding more than 10 rounds—sizes that come standard on most modern rifles and handguns. He would pay some owners to surrender the affected guns they legally own and force everyone else to register the guns under the National Firearms Act. The proposal would require owners to pay a $200 tax stamp for each item.