President-Elect Biden & Vice President-Elect Harris: Gun Control Stances

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With the recent 2020 election results officially projected, it’s important to be aware of the possible gun control policies that are being talked about by our new president-elect and vice president-elect.

Of course, what a politician promises and actually does can be two different things.

But you can tell a lot about the future by looking to the past and you can make some predictions based on repeated remarks both Biden and Harris have made throughout their campaigns.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the stances on gun control that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have taken.

(Spoiler alert: you might want to stock up on an AR-15 rifle or two while you still can.)

President-Elect Joe Biden’s Gun Control Views

 

Joe Biden
Source: Wikipedia

 

According to the Biden campaign website, President-Elect Joe Biden plans to:

“Hold gun manufacturers accountable.”

Biden says he will work to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which protects firearm manufacturers from being held civilly liable for their products.

This could potentially open up gun manufacturers to frivolous lawsuits caused by an individual’s misuse of product.

On Twitter, Biden also dropped the dreaded “common-sense reforms” gun control rhetoric to “end our gun violence epidemic.”

“Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”

Joe Biden plans to enact legislation to once again ban what he deems “assault weapons” like AR-15s.

This assault weapon ban will be designed to stop manufacturers from circumventing the law by making minor changes that do not limit the firearm’s lethality.

Biden reinforced his views with a Tweet stating his intentions to “ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”

Biden also plans to use his executive authority to ban the importation of these “assault weapons.”

“Buy back the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines already in our communities.”

President-Elect Biden also wants to institute a program to buy back “weapons of war” currently on our streets.

This would give individuals who currently possess “assault weapons” or high-capacity magazines two options: either sell the firearms to the government or register them under the National Firearms Act (NFA).

Additionally, he clarified on Twitter, stating that “weapons of war have no place in our communities. When I was senator, I took on the NRA and secured a 10-year ban on assault weapons — and as president, I’ll ban these weapons again.”

In an interview with CNN, Biden was asked whether that “means they’re going to come for my guns” and Biden replied, “Bingo, you’re right if you have an assault weapon. The fact of the matter is they should be illegal. Period.”

“Reduce the stockpiling of weapons.”

Biden will also support legislation that would restrict the number of firearms an individual may purchase to one per month.

This could not only impact a person’s ability to buy what he or she wants, but it also forces enthusiasts to prioritize their new home defense, concealed carry, hunting and sporting firearm purchases.

As it stands now, if you have passed a background check and are legally able to possess a firearm, there are usually few or no limits on how many firearms you can purchase.

“End the online sale of firearms and ammunition.”

Additionally, he would enact legislation to outlaw all online sales of firearms, ammunition, gun kits and firearm parts.

This would limit an individual’s access to specific firearms, ammunition and parts to what is available at local shops—which may have trouble getting specific products or ample supply in to keep up with demand.

As most in the gun community know, you cannot simply go online and have a gun sent to your house. It is sent to a local Federal Firearm License (FFL) dealer, where it is transferred to you through whatever legal process your state requires.

You will still fill out a Form 4473 and need to pass a background check. You may also need a purchase permit or go through a waiting period if your state requires it.

The point being, whether you purchase the gun online or in a store, you are still going through all the proper legal channels to complete the transaction and receive the firearm. So it remains to be seen what Biden will actually do here.

“Incentivize state ‘extreme risk’ laws.”

Extreme risk laws, or “red flag” laws, allow family members or law enforcement officers to temporarily remove an individual’s access to firearms when they claim that the individual is in crisis and poses a danger to themselves or others.

In an interview with NPR, Cassandra Crifasi, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, points to the ‘temporary component.’ “This means that once the temporary order expires, the person is then able to ask the judge to return his or her weapons.”

This also opens up the possibility for false claims to take away a person’s rights and potentially does away with the belief of “innocent until proven guilty.”

Even after the order is expired, the person must then ask a judge to get their legal rights back, though they have yet to be convicted of a crime.

“Stop ghost guns.”

Biden will also try to stop the production of “ghost guns” by pushing for legislation that would require purchasers of gun kits or 3D printing code to pass a federal background check.

Contrary to popular belief, these are not firearms that cannot be detected by metal detectors or X-ray machines. Ghost guns are firearms that are produced by an individual (either by using a kit or 3D printer) that do not have a serial number.

Considering it would be much easier to purchase a firearm—whether legally or illegally—that is not traceable back to you to commit a crime, outlawing these would seem to have little effect on gun violence.

Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’ Gun Control Views

 

Kamala Harris
Source: Wikipedia

 

According to interviews with publications like The New York Times, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris said that she would:

“Mandate background checks.”

Harris said she would like to sign an executive order that would mandate background checks for customers of any firearms dealer that sells more than five guns a year.

According to Guns and America, the RAND Corporation found moderate evidence that universal background checks had an effect on reducing gun violence, and Johns Hopkins found that universal background checks were actually associated with an increase in firearm homicides.

All in all, there seems to be inconclusive evidence that implementing universal background checks will have an effect on gun violence.

Additionally, Harris posted on Twitter in 2019 (as a presidential candidate) confirming this: “As president, I will take executive action to revoke the licenses of gun manufacturers & dealers that break the law.”

“Push for more stringent regulation of gun manufacturers.”

Kamala Harris could also push for more stringent regulations of gun manufacturers that may result in revoked licenses or prosecution.

This will put more stress on the gun manufacturing industry and could raise the cost of manufacture (and thus the cost of firearms).

On Twitter, Harris also delivered the following ultimatum: “If Congress doesn’t pass gun safety legislation in the first 100 days of my presidency, I will take executive action to keep our communities safe.”

“Close the loophole that allows some domestic abusers to purchase guns if their victim is an unwedded partner.”

Harris also plans to enact gun control that would close a purported loophole that allows some individuals convicted of domestic abuse to purchase firearms.

Biden and Harris also support enacting the proposal to prohibit anyone under a temporary restraining order from purchasing or possessing a firearm before their hearing.

This again potentially does away with the idea of being “innocent until proven guilty.”

“Fight for a renewal of the assault weapon ban.”

This gun control ban would prohibit individuals from purchasing semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 or AK-47 and would similarly outlaw whatever they deem as “high-capacity magazines.”

This would limit a person’s access to firearms that excel in personal defense and home-defense scenarios, and opens the door to further restrictions on firearms.

Additionally, in an interview with the National Review, Harris stated, “We have to have a buyback program and I support a mandatory gun buyback program.”

Harris also mentioned supporting this “mandatory buyback” when speaking with BBC and mentioned she “will take executive action to ban the importation of AR-15-style assault weapons” on Twitter.

She further stated that “assault weapons are weapons of war… there is no reason they should exist on the streets of a civil society.”

What gun control issues are you most concerned about? Why? Let us known in the comments below (and please keep it respectful).





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