March 15, 2023
By Mark Chesnut
Unable to get Congress to pass the punitive gun-control laws he desires or admit that he doesn’t have the power to make such laws himself, President Joe Biden on Tuesday issued an odd executive order that is a curious cocktail of the ridiculous and the already done. Biden announced the order, which contains enough self-pats on the back to make any man’s head swell, at a speech in California on Tuesday.
“It is the policy of my Administration that executive departments and agencies will pursue every legally available and appropriate action to reduce gun violence,” the order states. “I continue to call on the Congress to take additional action to reduce gun violence, including by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring background checks for all gun sales, requiring safe storage of firearms, funding my comprehensive Safer America Plan, and expanding community violence intervention and prevention strategies.”
What the order really does might surprise even Biden. After the introduction, the order proceeds to list actions to be taken that are already covered under existing law or make absolutely no sense at all. Among those actions are ordering the attorney general to clarify a definition of who is “engaged in the business of dealing” in firearms (already done and recently updated), prevent former FFLs whose licenses have been revoked from continuing to engage in the business (already illegal), and support efforts to modernize and make permanent the Undetectable Firearms Act (guns with less than 3.7 ounces of metal in them are likely seldom used in crimes).
The fact sheet explaining the executive order claims the order is designed to “increase the number of background checks by ensuring that all background checks required by law are conducted before firearm purchases, moving the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation.” That veiled accusation didn’t sit well with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
“The White House accused industry members, without evidence, of selling firearms without required FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verifications,” NSSF said in a released statement. “This is disingenuous, at best. The firearm industry was the progenitor of the point-of-sale instant background check to ensure firearms are sold only to those the law has determined can be trusted to possess a firearm.”
In the executive order, Biden further pushed unconstitutional “red-flag” laws, stating: “The Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, including through the Surgeon General of the United States, and the Secretary of Education shall undertake efforts to encourage effective use of extreme risk protection orders (“red-flag” laws), partnering with law enforcement, health care providers, educators, and other community leaders.”
As we’ve detailed before, there’s a big problem with those extreme risk protective orders, and NSSF was quick to point it out.
“NSSF has not opposed the use of emergency risk protection orders, or so-called ‘red-flag’ laws, so long as those laws include adequate protections for Constitutional Due Process considerations,” the group stated. “To date, none of the ‘red-flag’ laws in the 19 states and District of Columbia include these Constitutional protections. NSSF urges the Biden administration and Department of Justice (DOJ) to address these Constitutional concerns that would encourage additional states to consider these laws.”
The order further ordered the secretary of transportation and Department Of Justice to work to reduce the loss or theft of firearms during shipment from FFL to FFL (who’s not for that?), and encouraged the Federal Trade Commission to issue a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market firearms to minors (an effort to restrict gunmakers’ First Amendment rights). Oh, and the president also wants nearly all government agencies to expand efforts to promote safe storage of firearms. Of course, safe storage is a good thing and practiced by most lawful gun owners. However, many proposed laws render guns unavailable to their owners if and when they are needed for self-defense, and that’s simply not acceptable. The order’s fact sheet even took a swipe at so-called “assault weapons,” the president’s favorite guns to hate.
“Again and again, he has called for Congress to act, including by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring background checks for all gun sales, requiring safe storage of firearms, closing the dating violence restraining order loophole, and repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability,” the sheet stated. This bashing of America’s favorite rifle again drew the ire of the industry trade organization.
“NSSF rejects the Biden administration’s demands to ban Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) and standard-capacity magazines,” the group stated. “This demand is clearly unconstitutional, as affirmed by the Heller, McDonald and Bruen decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court that affirmed the individual right to possess firearms in common use. More than 24.4 million MSRS are in circulation today. That’s more than there are Ford F-150s on the road, the most-popular selling pickup truck.”
In the end, the executive order doesn’t do much except call names, make baseless accusations, twist facts and push for federal agency leaders to find ways to further infringe on the rights of lawful Americans. President Biden might think he did something on Tuesday to “protect Americans,” but in reality it was just more hot air from a wannabe dictator.
About the Author
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 over 20 years.
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