Well, President Biden caved to pressure and decided to do an executive order. While it hasn’t formally been published in the Federal Register yet the way it is supposed to be, I did create a quick summary of his April 8th, 2021, press conference based on a review of second hand articles:
- He told the DOJ they have 30 days to rule on “Ghost Guns” meaning firearms made at home. We’ll have to see what they do here because law abiding citizens have been making firearms at home for the entire history of this country. One leak suggested they may require people to get background checks before building a firearm – but to be clear, there is nothing official.
- He gave the DOJ 60 days to decide what to do on pistol braces. Unfortunately the mentally ill shooter in Minneapolis used one and the media keeps bringing that up to support the need to deal with them. All kinds of rumors are floating around – pistols in rifle calibers will require NFA registration, pistols in pistol calibers between a certain range of size and weight will be ok … it’s not clear what they will do but there are millions of these devices out there so they better think this through carefully especially when it comes to the existing owners.
- They are going to draft some kind of sample/model “red flag law” legislation that states can then optionally adopt. Note how the guidance is at the Federal level but actual adoption will be up to each state. On the surface one would think that getting guns out of the hands of a dangerous person would be a good idea but the problem is in terms of who gets to deem a person dangerous? Will it be any “concerned” citizen calling in and saying someone is unsafe, will it be a judge, a panel? Will they truly be fair and impartial? There are a ton of problems here to sort out.
- The Justice Department will issue a report on firearms trafficking. I expect the findings will be tailored to fit their political narratives vs. being impartial.
- The administration will make more investments in community violence prevention programs aimed at reducing gun violence.
- He announced David Chipman as his pick to head the ATFE. The was an ATF agent but as been a senior advisor to the anti-gun group founded be Gabrielle Giffords. Whether he can pass the Senate nomination process or not is unknown.
His administration promised that there is more to come. You’ll notice he keeps trying to push this toxic topic back to lawmakers who are divided and nothing has been accomplished since the election.
What this does highlight is that despite campaign rhetoric, Biden has limited options when it comes to gun control otherwise he would have made far more dramatic moves. Gun control tends to damage political campaigns of politicians and I think the President needs to carefully thing through where he will spend his political capital.
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