April 09, 2021
By Mark Chesnut
When Joe Biden held his big gun control dog and pony show on Thursday at the White House, the number of lies he told about firearms, crime and gun control was so great that it would be hard to choose his single biggest prevarication.
In fact, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, put it best when he told Newsmax.com after the speech that Democrats “operate in a fact-free environment” when it comes to guns and gun policy.
“They don't want to actually stop the violence with the policies that work; instead, their approach is always go after the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens,” Cruz said. “Their solution is to disarm you and to disarm me, and it's unconstitutional and it's also incredibly ineffective.''
Despite the sheer number of lies Biden uttered on Thursday, with a little effort, we have come up with what we consider the four biggest whoppers he told while misinforming anyone hoping to hear real facts on the topic.
Here they are in no particular order.
The Colonial Gun Control Lie
Biden hadn’t even made it a minute into his speech when he let go this zinger.
“Nothing — nothing I’m about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment,” Biden said, somehow keeping a straight face. “They’re phony, arguments suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake from what we’re talking about.”
As if that wasn’t bold-faced enough, the president continued: “But no amendment—no amendment to the Constitution is absolute… From the very beginning, you couldn’t own any weapon you wanted to own. From the very beginning that the Second Amendment existed, certain people weren’t allowed to have weapons. So the idea is just bizarre to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution.”
Biden seems to be suggesting some kind of early gun control laws during colonial days. By doing so, he seems to forget that one of the things that started the American Revolution was the British government trying to take guns from the colonists.
In truth, according to David Kopel, research director and Second Amendment project director at the Independence Institute, “I am not aware of a ban on any arm in colonial America. There were controls on people or locations, but not bans on types of arms.”
In fact, when looking into statements made by Biden during the campaign that early Americans weren’t allowed to own canons, none other than notoriously anti-gun PolitiFact concluded: “The campaign was unable to come up with an example of a law banning private ownership of cannons, and historians of the period doubt that any existed.”
The Charleston Loophole Lie
“The second thing is, close what is known as the ‘Charleston loophole,’” he said. “Like people here, I spent time down at that church in Charleston. What happened is someone was allowed to get the gun used to kill those innocent people at a church service. The FBI didn’t complete the background check within three days.
“There’s a process. If wasn’t done in three days, according to Charleston loophole, you get to buy the gun. They bought the gun and killed a hell of a lot of innocent people who invited him to pray with them.”
In truth, what Biden and other gun-ban proponents call the “Charleston loophole” is a safeguard built into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), created by the Brady Bill back in 1993, that says if the FBI can’t complete the “instant” background check in three working days, the firearm licensee may proceed with the sale. That so-called “loophole” is the only thing standing between the ability to purchase a gun and an FBI being able to delay any and all guns as long as they or an anti-gun administration wants them to.
As a little background on calling it the Charleston loophole, think back to the 2015 attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. While those on the anti-gun side of the debate claim the murderer received his gun three days after the NICS check didn’t flag him as a prohibited person, that’s not true.
In reality, he first attempted to buy the gun on April 11 of that year, but was delayed due to a prior arrest for drug possession. The gun was actually transferred to him on April 16—five days after his attempt to purchase it.
“So what?” some might say. “Whether three days or five, someone who was legally prohibited got a gun.”
That, however, is not true, either. The attack didn't occur until June 17, more than two months after the murderer first tried to buy the firearm. During that time, the FBI continued to investigate to determine whether the transaction should have proceeded. The FBI investigation was not impeded because the firearm was transferred.
Furthermore, under the law, if it is later determined that a transaction should have been denied, the case is referred to ATF for recovery of the firearm. That didn't happen in this case because the murderer was not prohibited from possessing a firearm due to his drug arrest. Under federal law, a person has to be an unlawful “user” of a controlled substance, so the government needs evidence of use, not simply possession, of a controlled substance.
The AR Pistol Lie
“A third change: We want to treat pistols modified with stabilizing braces with the seriousness they deserve,” Biden said. “A stabilizing brace—you’re going to (inaudible)—essentially, it makes that pistol a hell of a lot more accurate and a mini-rifle. As a result, it’s more lethal, effectively turning into a short-barreled rifle.
“I want to be clear that these modifications to firearms that make them more lethal should be subject to the National Firearms Act. The National Firearms Act requires that a potential owner pay a $200 fee and submit their name and other identifying information to the Justice Department, just as they would if they went out and purchased a silencer for a gun.”
While Biden makes silencers sound nefarious, in truth they are important devices used to protect shooters’ hearing, and in some other countries it’s considered rude to shoot without them. And there’s no reason they should be regulated under the NFA.
As for AR-15 with stabilizing braces, the simple fact is that the Second Amendment is far more about tyranny and genocide, than it is about duck hunting, sport shooting or collecting. And braced pistols shouldn’t be regulated period—just like short-barreled rifles (SBRs) should not be regulated.
Some have estimated that Americans own about 4 to 6 million stabilizing braces currently own. Should Biden get his way and the ATF change the definition to regulate them by the NFA, it’ll be up to the agency what happens with all those braces already in private hands. If each owner is required to pay the $200 tax, that’d be a windfall of about $1 billion.
The Manufacturers Exempt From Lawsuits Lie
“The only industry in America—a billion-dollar industry—that can’t be sued—has exempt from being sued—are gun manufacturers,” Biden also spouted during the address. “Imagine how different it would be had that same exemption been available to tobacco companies who knew—who knew and lied about the danger they were causing—the cancer caused and the like. Imagine where we’d be.
“But this is the only outfit that is exempt from being sued. If I get one thing on my list—the Lord came down and said, ‘Joe, you get one of these’—give me that one. Because I tell you what, there would be a ‘come to the Lord’ moment these folks would have real quickly. But they’re not. They’re not. They’re exempt.”
In fact, that’s also a lie. What Biden is talking about is the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). Signed by President George W. Bush in 2005, after anti-gun groups filed several frivolous lawsuits against American firearms manufacturers in an attempt to eliminate gun control by bankrupting the industry, the PLCAA was designed to shield manufacturers from liability for acts committed by those who used their products illegally.
As UCLA professor Adam Winkler wrote to NPR back in 2015: “The 2005 law does not prevent gun makers from being held liable for defects in their design. Like car makers, gun makers can be sued for selling a defective product. The problem is that gun violence victims often want to hold gun makers liable for the criminal misuse of a properly functioning product.”
Additionally, comparing gun companies to tobacco companies is nonsensical. Tobacco companies knew their products were dangerous and addictive. Firearms are only dangerous to the law-abiding when criminals use them to prey on others—not at all the fault of the lawful manufacturers.
Wrapping It Up
Interestingly, during the speech Biden also lied about such topics as the effectiveness of the 1990s Clinton “assault weapons” ban, so-called “ghost guns,” 80 percent receivers, the constitutionality of red-flag laws, support for so-called “universal” background checks, the “gun show loophole,” and a number of other topics. And to add insult to injury, he suggested that state gun-ban proponents begin pushing for more state restrictions on firearm ownership.
Despite the many lies Biden shamelessly told during the speech, one thing rang true—and it is dangerous, indeed.
“No matter how long it takes, we’re going to get these passed,” he said of his proposals. “We’re not going to give up.”
What makes that so dangerous currently is that his selection of anti-gun judge Merrick Garland as attorney general and long-time anti-gun organization operative David Chipman as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) put exactly the wrong people in place for America’s law-abiding gun owners. While the AG nomination likely could have been halted, 20 turncoat Republicans voted to approve the nomination.
None of us know what the future will hold, but with Biden pushing hard for restrictions and putting key gun-ban advocates in place to bolster those restrictions, the future will certainly be interesting for those of us involved in the battle to save the Second Amendment.
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.