Biden has promised several times throughout his campaign that he will ‘take on the NRA’ and ‘crackdown’ on gun violence across the country. Although his remarks have been more of campaign political speech rather than any specific promises, what are Biden’s actual plans, and will they limit the protections of the second amendment?
The official Biden-Harris campaign website provides much more insight into his gun-control plans than the blanket statements he made on the campaign trail. Biden calls his plans for firearms “common-sense gun safety policies,” although many firearm owners may disagree.
President Biden’s first promise is to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, effectively stripping away laws that protect gun manufacturers from being held civilly liable for crimes committed with their products. The Biden-Harris campaign site says this proposition will “hold gun manufacturers accountable.”
The Biden administration’s next legislative plan is designed to “get weapons of war off our streets.” He will do it by issuing an executive order, banning the importation of “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” while his administration works on pushing legislation through Congress that will ban the sale of these weapons throughout the country.
For Americans who already possess what Biden classifies as “assault weapons,” his planned policies will give these individuals “two options: sell the weapons to the government, or register them under the National Firearms Act.” This would essentially give the federal government a list of every large firearm owner in the country.
Biden has voiced his support for legislation that would restrict the “number of firearms an individual may purchase per month to one.” He also wants to beef up the federal background check system and ban the online sale of firearms, ammunition, kits, and gun parts.
Biden promises to “incentivize state ‘extreme risk laws,” a highly controversial policy that has been nicknamed ‘red flag’ laws. The law would allow family members and law enforcement to remove an individual’s access to firearms if they believe the individual is in crisis. Many gun advocates oppose this law, claiming it can be taken advantage of to take away a rational-minded individual’s firearms without their consent.
The Biden administration plans to set up gun licensing programs, that will pay states federal grants to enact legislation that will require individuals to obtain a license before purchasing a firearm.
Although Biden plans to push all this and more through Congress, it is highly unlikely that he will be able to get a majority of lawmakers on board with the legislation. Even if all of the Democrats in the house and senate vote for the legislation, it will take Republican support for these policies to go through.
However, that does not mean he cannot enact some of his policies through executive orders. Which he has done at a significant rate in the early days of his presidency, even setting a record for the most executive orders enacted during the first nine days of a presidential term.