December 16, 2023
You just can’t make this stuff up! We detailed back in June how it was possible that first son Hunter Biden’s lawyers might choose to mount a Second Amendment defense against his pending gun charges based on last year’s landmark Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. Fast forward to this week, and on Dec. 11, attorneys for the president’s son began making that case in federal court, saying that the charges of lying on a federal background check form and possessing a firearm while addicted to unlawful substances were “unprecedented” and “unconstitutional.”
At odds is whether the law barring lying on the background check form and another law forbidding drug addicts from possessing firearms is constitutional under Bruen. By the new standard, for the law to be constitutional prosecutors must show that there exists a “historical precedent from before, during and even after the founding [that] evidences a comparable tradition of regulation?” The irony is, of course, that President Joe Biden continues to call for “enhanced” and even “universal” background checks for firearm sales, even as his son’s attorneys argue that the existing background check law is unconstitutional.
In 2018, Hunter Biden purchased a firearm from a licensed dealer, and, while filling in Form 4473, responded “no” to the question of whether he was “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.” However, per Hunter’s own account of his addiction—as chronicled in his 2021 book, Beautiful Things—it is almost certain that he was an addict at the time he purchased the gun. Under the terms of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993—a law that then-Sen. Joe Biden shepherded through the U.S. Senate—lying on Form 4473 is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. It will be interesting to see what transpires as the younger Biden’s attorneys argue against his dad’s prosecutors on whether these matters are protected under the Second Amendment or not.
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 nearly 25 years.
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