Update on the President’s Proposed Gun Control Reform
In a Presidential Address to Congress on April 27, President Biden presented what he has accomplished in his first 100 days in office, as well as what direction he wants to take the nation going forward. Here we’ll recap the important points in his proposals for gun control reform.
Biden Addresses “An Epidemic In This Country”
A focus of the President’s address was his emphasis on what he calls “sensible gun control laws,” stating that “gun violence has become an epidemic in this country”. Biden is pushing for Congress to pass legislation to close loopholes in background checks as well as ban high-capacity magazines. On the latter he said that most hunters will tell you that you don’t need high capacity magazines, saying “You think deer are wearing kevlar vests?”.
DOJ Proposes New Rule on “Ghost Guns”
The Justice Department on Friday, May 7 released a proposed rule that would broaden the definition of a firearm and put new restrictions on so-called “ghost guns”, which are kits that allow buyers to assemble firearms without a serial number. It would force manufacturers to include a serial number on a firearm’s “frame or receiver” in easy-to-build kits. These serial numbers help the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives trace guns used in crimes.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement announcing the proposed rule, “Criminals and others barred from owning a gun should not be able to exploit a loophole to evade background checks and to escape detection by law enforcement. This proposed rule would help keep guns out of the wrong hands and make it easier for law enforcement to trace guns used to commit violent crimes, while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans.”
The NRA Continues to Express Opposition
Biden promised a crackdown on “ghost guns” in April when he announced a series of executive actions to curb gun violence. While gun-control groups were pleased, the country’s largest pro-gun group, the National Rifle Assosiation, signaled its opposition.
The President has said that he doesn’t oppose the 2nd Amendment, but recent social media posts from the NRA suggest that they believe otherwise. “When the President of the United States says you don’t need guns and ammo… YOU NEED GUNS AND AMMO. #PresidentialAddress,” reads a tweet from the NRA on April 28.
Did Biden Really Say “You Don’t Need Guns and Ammo”?
While Biden didn’t directly make any general claim that Americans don’t need guns or ammunition, he did call for a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines and to expand background checks for gun buyers. “We need a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Don’t tell me it can’t be done,” Biden said, according to a Rev.com transcript. “We did it before, and it worked.”
When Will This Proposed Law Go Into Effect?
The proposed rule still must go through a lengthy public comment process before it is finalized. Biden has made it clear that gun control reform is a priority for his Cabinet and has been moving swiftly on this. For now, they remain proposals. We will continue to keep you updated as the situation develops.