October 16, 2020
By Mark Chesnut
As Election 2020 approaches, it’s not hard to see where Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris stand on gun control and gun bans. In fact, both have been bragging about their gun-control credentials since they first entered the public limelight years back.
Biden has been bragging about the role he played in the failed (and unconstitutional) Clinton semi-auto ban of the 1990s since that ban was passed. And he continues to do so, even though Congress let the law sunset when government research showed it didn’t have an effect on mass shootings.
Central to the Biden plan is so-called “universal” background checks and another so-called “assault weapons” ban. As most Firearms News readers know, “universal” background checks are far from universal, as criminals don’t abide by America’s gun laws. Consequently, passage of such laws make life more difficult for the law-abiding while having no effect on whether violent criminals are able to get a gun or not.
Along the same lines, assault weapons bans generally hamper the ownership of popular semi-auto rifles that are used by many law-abiding Americans for sport shooting, competition, hunting, and home defense. Even the FBI has reported that less than 5 percent of murders are committed with rifles of any kind, meaning AR-15-type rifles are used in even fewer shootings than that.
Other low points of Biden’s agenda include wanting to wipe out decades-old legal protection for gun makers and sellers when criminals use their safe, legal products to commit crimes, limiting the number of guns a person could purchase each month, passing safe storage laws that hamper armed self-defense and giving money to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to do anti-gun research on the taxpayers’ dime.
Of course, Biden would be a disaster for gun owners when selecting federal judges and appointing justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, his potential selections are so bad he has refused to release a short list of candidates, even though his opponent proudly did so.
Biden’s refusal prompted Carrie Severino, Crisis Network president and former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to speculate on why he won’t name names.
“The liberals he is trying to appease ... are trying to pack the courts and they want judges who will rewrite those laws to a liberal end,” Severino said on Fox & Friends late last week.
"It's no wonder he doesn't want to release his list because I think that list would be so radical the American people would be frightened. Joe, what are you hiding here?"
As for Harris, she was arguably the most anti-gun of the potential running mates Biden considered. In fact, during her short run for the presidency (she barely made it past the first Democrat debate), she vowed to confiscate privately-owned firearms through executive action.
A former California attorney general, as a presidential candidate Harris promised her supporters she’d make sweeping gun reforms through executive action. Toward the end of her campaign, Harris even embraced gun confiscation through what she called “mandatory buybacks”—a nonsensical term since the government can’t “buy back” something it never owned.
Harris’ anti-gun activism goes back decades to her seven-year stint as San Francisco’s district attorney. And while she talks a good game about supporting the Second Amendment for hunting, the list of anti-gun schemes she advocates is a long one indeed.
During her presidential campaign, she declared that as president she’d give congress 100 days to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which shields legal gun makers from being sued into oblivion for criminals misusing their legally made and legally sold firearms, before doing it herself through executive action.
Harris also supports an executive action to impose new restrictions on the lawful transfer of firearms. Under her plan, anyone who sells five or more guns a year would be considered a “dealer” and would have to conduct a background check on all sales, even though there is no system in place for conducting such checks. Harris has also promised to revoke the licenses of gun dealers who sell guns that are later used by criminals to commit violent crimes.
And don’t think it is just Biden and Harris who hold these views. The 2020 Democrat Party Platform, the latest document laying out the party’s agenda, speaks of gun control in a very direct way, proving the national party as a whole sees guns in private hands as a problem.
“Democrats will enact universal background checks, end online sales of guns and ammunition, close dangerous loopholes that currently allow stalkers and some individuals convicted of assault or battery to buy and possess firearms, and adequately fund the federal background check system,” the document reads.
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.