By Larry Keane
Former Vice President Joe Biden is the captain now.
“The party is me,” Biden said during the presidential debate. “Right now, I am the Democratic Party. I am the Democratic Party right now.”
The debate didn’t touch on gun control. Amidst the arguing and speaking over one another, the candidates touched on Supreme Court nominees, law enforcement, riots and looting. The topic of gun rights or gun control wasn’t addressed. The former vice president, though, told the American public exactly where he is on gun control when he uttered that phrase. He wants more of it. Lots more.
The Democratic Party adopted the Biden-Harris platform at their convention earlier this year that laid out their plans to enact unprecedented gun control. It’s a ban plan, an elimination plan and watchlist plan that will strip law-abiding Americans of their God-given rights and do nothing to address crime reduction.
“Democrats will ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines,” their plan reads. The party maligns the modern sporting rifle by attempting to equate it with an automatic firearm used by the military. What they want to ban are semiautomatic firearms simply over cosmetic features and make technology that is more than 100 years old illegal. They would ban the manufacture and sale the most popular-selling centerfire rifle on the market today.
The Biden-Harris plan would eliminate “online sales of guns and ammunition” denying Americans the ability to shop online and purchase firearms, which can only be transferred by the retailer to the customer in a face-to-face transaction after a mandatory FBI background check. That background check, too, would be required for every transfer of a firearm. Biden’s plan would criminalize private firearm transfers, whether that be a sale, a father handing a shotgun down to his child, sisters lending their handgun to one another or lifelong friends swapping guns as collectibles. That right would be eliminated, and worse, criminalized.
That’s not all Biden wants. His plan to enact universal background checks would create registries that would put innocent Americans on government watchlists. That’s regulation that is barred by federal law, but they’ve got a plan for that. He would force states to create a licensing scheme for firearm ownership and Americans would be forced to pay a fee to exercise a right. Illinois gives insight to the calamity that awaits. Illinois has among the strictest gun control laws, but the Firearms Owner Identification (FOID) Card system is a train wreck. The state has a backlog of more than three months and more than 135,000 applications to process a card to allow citizens to exercise their rights.
Biden proposes to go further and mandate how a firearm is stored in the home. Biden disregards the U.S. Supreme Court struck such a requirement in the landmark 2008 Heller decision. The opinion written by the late Justice Antonin Scalia did more than affirm the Second Amendment is an individual right. That decision also struck down the District of Columbia’s law that a firearm must be kept in the home with a trigger lock as unconstitutional.
This is the ship that Biden is piloting. The ship has no rudder. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said the party would drift further left if Biden is elected. Biden is putting his party on a collision course with the Constitution, the Supreme Court and voters. Biden is the captain now.
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.