Before even becoming president, Joe Biden made clear exactly what gun policies he planned to push, and Americans have been waiting for the other shoe to drop since. Well, now it has. The White House confirmed Wednesday, April 7, that the president would be signing six executive actions Thursday centered around gun regulation. The executive can’t sign bills into law that didn’t clear the House and the Senate first – but never underestimate just how much damage a president can do to liberty by simply deploying the alphabet boys. Biden all but promised a war on guns – and it seems the DOJ and ATF make up the vanguard.
No Time for Congress
Some Dems – like Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut – want a bigger, bolder bunch of actions from Biden, but the president wants all the big, sweeping changes – like the “assault weapons” ban, a national “red flag” law, and universal background checks – to be passed by Congress before he signs them into law.
Still, the White House statement declared, “this Administration will not wait for Congress to act to take its own steps – fully within the Administration’s authority and the Second Amendment – to save lives.” Don’t let the couched language fool you: If his plan to end the “gun violence epidemic” is any indication, Biden doesn’t seem to think the Second Amendment prohibits any sort of firearm restrictions.
Changing the Definitions
Within 30 days, the DOJ must propose a rule to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns.” What exactly that rule will be is not known for certain – but the plan released by the campaign suggests that would be a matter of redefining a “firearm” to include 80% receivers – and maybe even any gun part – and to require all parts purchases to be handled by a licensed dealer after a background check. There is also talk of banning any online sales of guns, parts, or ammunition.
Is this within the purview of the executive branch? Manufacturers are already required to seek ATF approval before releasing new types of firearms or parts, and Americans have already seen how that can be abused after the agency revoked its approval of a certain kit put out by Polymer80 and went after the company for “illegally” selling firearms.
But does it jive with the Second Amendment? That all depends on whether you read the Bill of Rights like anti-gun leftists – the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, for instance – or like the men who wrote it.
Within 60 days, the DOJ must also make a clear rule for when a stabilizing brace turns a pistol into a short-barrel rifle – changing it from a “normal” firearm to something that must be registered with the ATF in compliance with the National Firearms Act.
Who Needs Due Process?
Moving out of the realm of banning or reclassifying items, Biden will also direct the DOJ to publish model “red flag” laws for the states. Ultimately, Biden wants Congress to pass this at the national level, but for now, he’ll settle for applying pressure on the states. One order demands an annual report from the DOJ on firearms trafficking, and another promises investment in “evidence-based community violence interventions.”
Whatever that is, Biden pushed for $5 billion in the American Jobs Plan for it. According to the White House, five federal agencies are making changes to 26 programs to direct support to these violence intervention schemes as soon as possible. The Department of Health and Human Services is even putting together a guide for how to use Medicaid to reimburse certain community initiatives.
Gun Control – The Real Purpose Is Right in the Name
To ice this cake of bureaucratic tyranny, Biden plans to nominate David Chipman to be the director of the ATF. This agency hasn’t had a confirmed director since 2015, and the president hopes to change that – though it may prove a tall order when the Senate gathers to vote.
Will these policy changes and, if Biden gets his way, new laws actually save lives? Probably not many, if any – but gun control is about control, not preventing death. As Liberty Nation Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza explained, these laws aren’t very helpful when it comes to saving lives. “However, for gaining progressive political points and reducing Americans’ liberty and power, new gun controls are just the ticket.”
Read more from James Fite.