Tip of the hat to The Trace, the self-described “independent” publication financed almost exclusively by failed 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, for doing the legwork.
This week, it laid out 7 ways President-elect Joe Biden can go at it alone on gun control, meaning ways he put the squeeze on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens without Congress.
Gun owners should recognize now that regardless of what happens in the run-off elections in Georgia, all of what’s about to be said isn’t just likely, but imminent if Biden is sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2021.
This is what the next four years will look like. Warning: it isn’t pretty.
Bullet points and excerpts from The Trace’s article:
1. Implementing an “all-of-government” approach to gun violence reduction
On Day One, Biden could sign an executive order creating an interagency task force on gun violence prevention. Such a task force could bring together the White House, the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and any federal agency that touches gun violence with the goal of coordinating the national response.
2. Reinvigorating the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
Biden’s platform does not stop with new, more focused leadership. He has said he will direct his attorney general to deliver within the first 100 days a set of recommendations for restructuring the ATF and related Justice Department agencies to most effectively enforce gun laws, including by increasing the frequency of inspections on ATF-licensed gun dealers.
3. An overhaul of how the ATF classifies National Firearm Act weapons
The National Firearms Act subjects certain types of weapons and accessories — machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and rifles, and silencers — to heightened regulation. The ATF determines exactly which models, components and accessories should qualifies. Under new leadership, the agency could review its previous determinations and reclassify firearms and components teetering on the line of being considered an NFA weapon.
4. Data collection and research
In order to truly understand the workings of America’s gun violence problem, you need data, but there’s not much high-quality data available. There’s currently a two-year lag on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on gun deaths, no reliable data on the number of nonfatal gunshot injuries that happen every year, and no up-to-date, reliable nationwide database of crime statistics. The Biden administration could direct agencies to more efficiently collect and publish data, and prioritize data related to gun violence.
5. Cracking down on untraceable “ghost guns”
While it might be difficult to ban or prohibit ghost guns through executive action alone, there are proposals on how the ATF could use its rulemaking authority to regulate the parts needed to assemble homemade weapons. One, from Everytown for Gun Safety, would see the ATF requiring the manufacturers of ghost gun parts to stamp them with serial numbers, and subject buyers to background checks.
6. Banning the importation of assault weapons
While banning the manufacture and sale of assault weapons would require legislative action, the executive has significant authority — and, in fact, a legal obligation — to regulate the importation of firearms from abroad under the Gun Control Act of 1968. Biden could use that authority to restrict the importation of assault weapons.
7. Enact universal background checks
There are also some modest laws that could have a chance even if the upper chamber has a Republican majority.
In 2019, an expanded background check bill sponsored by Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia nearly made its way out of Congress and to the desk of President Trump, who signaled he would sign the bill. That is, until the negotiations process stalled amid Trump’s impeachment. With a Biden administration more focused on expanding background checks, the Manchin-Toomey proposal — or something similar — could be signed into law.
Okay, so the first six are actions Biden could take unilaterally. The last is one that he would actually need Congress’ cooperation.
Regardless though, and as mentioned, gun owners should assume that this agenda WILL be implemented if Biden takes the White House.
What can gun owners do to prevent it?
Not sure anything can be done, honestly. But if you have some ideas, please list them in the comments section.