February 17, 2021

Joe Biden May Use Executive Orders to Push Gun Control

  • Executive, Flyover Country, The Hill

By: Paul Brown

In Brief:

President Joe Biden released a statement through the White House website on Sunday declaring his intent to push gun control legislation, including laws that would require background checks on all gun sales, ban “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines,” and eliminate existing legal protection for gun manufacturers. When asked by a reporter about the timeline or viability of passing such legislation, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that the President has not ruled out the use of Executive Order to accomplish his goals. 

The Background:

President Biden ran on a wide range of liberal positions, including gun control. On his official campaign website he supports a voluminous gun control plan that includes: making gun manufacturers liable for the actions of criminals, banning the manufacture and sale of so-called “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines, regulate existing “assault weapons” under the National Firearms Act (NFA), conduct weapon buy-backs, reduce the number of firearms individuals may purchase in a given time, require background checks on all firearms sales (including private sales), end the sale of firearms and ammunition online, and quite a few other initiatives. 

Facing the difficult prospect of passing gun control legislation with razor-thin Democrat majorities, President Biden recently narrowed the focus of his gun control efforts to three primary issues, and has brought Executive Orders into the discussion. Faced with similar obstacles in Congress, former President Barack Obama also resorted to Executive Orders to do as much as possible to keep Americans from exercising their Second Amendment rights freely. 

Notable Quotes:

“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.” - President Joe Biden on the White House Website

“Joe Biden has taken on the National Rifle Association (NRA) on the national stage and won – twice. In 1993, he shepherded through Congress the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which established the background check system that has since kept more than 3 million firearms out of dangerous hands. In 1994, Biden – along with Senator Dianne Feinstein – secured the passage of 10-year bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As president, Joe Biden will defeat the NRA again.” - President Joe Biden’s campaign website

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