July 23, 2021
By Mark Chesnut
Gun rights supporters have been warning about the incremental nature of gun control laws for years. But now, President Joe Biden has apparently forgotten you have to get one type of firearm banned before you can move on to the next.
During his sadly comical “town hall” meeting Wednesday night on CNN, Biden probably surprised even his few remaining supporters by announcing plans to ban 9mm pistols, arguably the most popular handgun in the nation widely used by lawful citizens for self-defense, sport shooting and competitive shooting. And it is the choice of law enforcement agencies across the nation and even the world.
“The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether it’s a 9mm pistol or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous,” Biden said. “I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things.”
Of course, Biden’s proclamation inflamed gun rights groups across the movement, who have long warned that the president had more than just so-called “assault rifles” in his crosshairs.
In an email sent shortly after Biden made the statement, the Firearms Policy Coalition took the president to task. “We've always known that these so-called ‘moderates’ want to ban just about all guns except maybe single-shot revolvers ... and probably even those,” FPC said in the email.
In a follow-up email exchange a few days later, FPC elaborated on the organization’s disdain for all unconstitutional gun bans.
“President Biden has made it clear that he does not respect the human right of armed self-defense enshrined in the Constitution,” the group stated. “As Federal District Judge Roger T. Benitez explained in FPC's recent trial victory against California's ban on so-called ‘assault weapons,’ the Second Amendment absolutely protects the very types of weapons that Joe Biden would prefer to ban. Constitutional rights are enshrined to protect against government infringement whether or not future legislatures, judges or even presidents think those rights too broad. FPC will continue to aggressively defend the people's rights, property and liberty from authoritarians like President Biden and his federal government goons.”
Officials from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association, also weighed in on Biden’s statement.
“President Biden’s inclusion of semi-automatic handguns as another class of firearms demonstrates how far and how willing his administration is to ignore Constitutional protections and Supreme Court precedent when it comes to Second Amendment rights,” said Mark Oliva, NSSF director of public affairs. “The Second Amendment is clear, and the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the fact that it is unconstitutional to ban entire classes of firearms. That’s exactly what President Biden suggested in his town hall.”
Oliva said that by including handguns, Biden is pushing his assault on an even more numerous group of law-abiding gun owners.
“He’s seeking not just to ban modern sporting rifles, of which there are over 20 million in circulation today, but now he’s included handguns,” Oliva said. “Over half the firearms sold in any given year are handguns, and in last year’s record year for background checks for gun sales—at 21 million—that tells us over 10 million were sold. Americans were buying those firearms because they were concerned for their personal safety.”
Of course, Biden’s pronouncement shouldn’t have come as a big surprise to those who keep a close eye on the battle to save the Second Amendment. NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action reported back in November 2019 that then-candidate Biden made a similar statement. At a fundraiser in Seattle, Biden stated, “Why should we allow people to have military-style weapons including pistols with 9mm bullets and can hold 10 or more rounds?”
Not surprisingly, none other than the anti-gun “fact check” site PolitiFact quickly came to Biden’s defense, claiming he doesn’t want to ban 9mm pistols, only those capable of using so-called “high-capacity” magazines. But since Biden has shown support for banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, banning handguns that use such magazines would include nearly every Glock 9mm pistol, along with many pistols from other manufacturers that can interchangeably use various size magazines within a certain gun “family.”
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.