By Larry Keane
If there were any mistaking the significance of the final two U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia, it’s now crystal clear. President-elect Joe Biden knows it. He cannot carry out his gun control agenda by executive overreach.
Georgians began casting early ballots this week ahead of the Jan. 5 election. Polling margins are close and with a 50-48 Republican advantage in the upper chamber, firearm supporters have almost no wiggle room to protect the Second Amendment from the antigun platform championed by the most antigun presidential ticket in history.
Itching for Gun Control
He was talking about repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that protects manufacturers from harassing litigation brought by activist lawyers trying to tie criminal misuse to the companies that produce lawful products. President-elect Biden said he’d name former U.S. Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke his gun grabbing sheriff after O’Rourke shouted, “Hell, yes we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47!”
The president-elect would criminalize private firearm sales by requiring every transaction to be done through a licensed firearm dealer and also use the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to crack down on firearm retailers for even minor clerical errors.
He’s got no shortage of ideas. He’s got a shortage of senators who will give him an open door to get it done.
First Georgia, Then America!
There’s nothing President-elect Biden and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) want more than for Georgia Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock to sweep victory. Sen. Schumer proclaimed, “Now we take Georgia. Then we change America!” That would put him in charge of running the Senate with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris breaking the 50-50 tie for Democrats and opening the floodgates on gun control policies. That means the right to keep and bear arms is on the chopping block and legislation to bankrupt the firearm industry gets a green light.
Ossoff embraced the gun grabbing policies of Everytown for Gun Safety and garnered their endorsement. These ideas include banning modern sporting rifles (MSRs), of which there are more than 20 million in circulation. He’s also called for a ban on standard capacity magazines. Don’t expect a public explanation of these ideas. Ossoff tried to trick voters on his true antigun stances but was caught red-handed.
Rev. Warnock’s gun control platform matches Ossoff’s step-for-step, but he’s gone afoul of law enforcement by calling police officers “gangsters, thugs and bullies,” saying they’re “a threat” to children. He said this at the same time he was demeaning law-abiding gun owners in Georgia for exercising their Second Amendment right while violence in Atlanta soared.
Hold the Line
The respective races are close, but the incumbents are both in strong positions and are steadfast supporters of the right to keep and bear arms. Republican Sen. David Perdue, facing Ossoff, has a long track record of fighting for the Second Amendment, saying the God-given right “to bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution.”
Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler is facing off against Rev. Warnock. Her Second Amendment bona fides are unquestionable.
“I’m a strong Second Amendment supporter. I’ve signed on to several pieces of legislation to not only protect the Second Amendment right, but also protect due process for veterans and make sure that we’re advancing this across all areas where gun rights come into play,” she told supporters at a rally.
In Georgia, every vote will matter in these decisive senate races to protect the Second Amendment for all Americans. NSSF’s #GUNVOTE® campaign educates America’s gun owners and Second Amendment supporters so they don’t risk their rights, including more than 19 million Americans who purchased firearms in 2020, and more than 7.5 million first-time buyers.
Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.