Joe Biden called on Congress Sunday to overhaul the nation’s gun laws.
Citing the Parkland school shooting that happened three years ago to the day, on Feb. 14, 2018, the president said in a statement that his administration will “not wait for the next mass shooting” but will instead “take action” to “end our epidemic of gun violence.”
Biden, specifically, wants lawmakers to criminalize private transfers, ban many semi-automatic firearms and accessories in common use and repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which protects the gun industry from being held liable for the criminal misuse of firearms.
“Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets,” said Biden.
Biden’s announcement comes on the heels of a meeting he had with gun-control advocates at the White House last week. Unsurprisingly, those same individuals applauded his policy recommendations.
“We look forward to the vital measures President Biden laid out being introduced and debated in Congress, starting with requiring background checks on all gun sales,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety in a press release. “In the meantime, we anticipate President Biden will continue to lead on this issue with swift executive action to repair our background check system, as well as investments in community-based efforts to address skyrocketing rates of city gun violence.”
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, added, “These recommendations are a welcome change from the inaction of the Trump administration over the past four years. Families across the country impacted by gun violence –– including the Parkland victims and survivors –– have been waiting for this day for far too long.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, believes Biden’s mandate for gun control is deeply misguided.
“President Joe Biden’s call for his gun control agenda is not working to address the shared American goal of reducing criminal misuse of firearms,” NSSF said in a press release.
“His demand that Congress ban the modern sporting rifle (MSR), which he knowingly mislabels an ‘assault rifle’ and ‘weapon of war,’ denies the reality that more murders are committed with knives, fists and clubs than all rifles combined,” it continued.
Instead of restricting the 2A rights of law-abiding citizens, NSSF champions what it calls “Real Solutions” to reduce gun-related violence. Those efforts include:
- Partnering with 15,000 law enforcement agencies to distribute 40 million firearm safety kits, including locking devices, for safe firearm storage through Project ChildSafe®.
- Fixing the FBI’s background check system by changing the law in 16 states and in Congress to increase reporting of disqualifying adjudicated mental health records, resulting in a 266 percent increase.
- Partnering with the ATF to prevent illegal firearm straw purchases and warning it is a crime punishable by 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
- Improving security at firearm retailers, with ATF, to deter criminals from stealing firearms.
- Matching ATF reward offers up to $5,000 to bring criminals to justice that steal firearms.
- Preventing firearm suicides with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Department of Veterans Affairs.
Apart from what the president has called for, federal lawmakers have recently introduced a variety of bills that would significantly restrict one’s right to keep and bear arms, including national licensing and registration legislation and punitive storage legislation.
Given this apparent appetite for changing the 2A, along with the fact that Democrats control both chambers of Congress, one can rest assured Biden’s call to action will not fall on deaf ears.