December 18, 2020
With alleged president-elect Joe Biden not even the certain winner of November’s election, Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety is already calling on him to hit the ground running with executive orders that would be devastating to America’s law-abiding gun owners.
Reportedly at the top of the group’s wish list for Biden executive action is an arbitrary five-firearms-per year cap on sales before one would have to become a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer. That is exactly the kind of action that Congress headed off when passing the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act back in 1986. Before that, it wasn’t uncommon for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to target hobbyists who weren’t “in the business” but made multiple sales each year.
Everytown is also encouraging Biden to take action to force FFLs to notify the FBI whenever they complete a firearm transfer following the FBI’s failure to complete a background check within the three days prescribed by law. The three-day limit was placed in the original background check legislation so the government couldn’t halt gun sales by dragging its feet, and such a change is nonsensical since the FBI already knows it did not complete the check on time. The only possible reason for such a law, then, would be to intimidate gun dealers into not completing transactions as the law allows, thereby curtailing gun sales when the FBI doesn’t do its job quickly enough.
Lastly, Everytown wants Biden to further regulate so-called 80 percent lowers. According to NRA-ILA, federal law defines a “firearm” to include “any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive” and “the frame or receiver of any such weapon.” In the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), “firearm frame or receiver” is further defined as, “That part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel.”
Consequently, BATFE would be required to broaden the definition of “firearm frame or receiver” in the CFR to further regulate such lowers. However, since the election the agency has made some small strides showing an intention to do so.
The fact that the grossly misnamed group Everytown is calling for what would amount to illegal executive actions to hamper law-abiding Americans should come as little surprise. Flush with its share of Bloomberg’s billions, the gun-ban group has made clear its disdain for the Second Amendment for years and has long supported restrictive anti-gun legislation, regardless of its constitutionality.
While even Biden seems doubtful that he can make massive changes to gun laws via executive order, vice president-elect Kamala Harris has no such reservations. She made that completely clear early on in her short-lived presidential campaign.
One of Harris’ boldest promises was, if elected president, to do away with the longstanding Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). In fact, she promised to do so by executive action if Congress didn’t do it within 100 days of her taking office.
In truth, The PLCAA was enacted to protect the firearms industry against a highly orchestrated and coordinated series of lawsuits that sought to either bankrupt the industry or force it to “voluntarily” adopt the sorts of measures gun control activists had unsuccessfully sought to impose by legislation. At the core of these suits was the fallacy that gun manufacturers were somehow responsible when violent criminals used safe, lawfully manufactured firearms to commit heinous acts.
Harris has also thrown her support behind forced gun confiscation without due process through so-called “red flag” laws, curtailing private sales through so-called “universal” background checks and even a mandatory “buyback” of many semi-auto rifles. Of course, that’s a nonsensical term since the government can’t “buy back” something it never owned.
With Biden’s seemingly diminishing mental capacity, it would be little surprise for Harris to be calling the shots early in a Biden/Harris administration. And should either she or Biden decide to act upon any of the proposals supported by Bloomberg and Everytown, lawful gun owners could find themselves on the defensive much sooner than anticipated, given the time it takes to push such legislation through Congress.
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.