Defending America: 20 GOP states form coalition to fight Biden’s ‘unconstitutional’ gun regulations

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WASHINGTON, DC – President Biden’s attempt to circumvent federal gun laws by issuing Department of Justice regulatory gun control rules is being challenged by 20 GOP state attorneys general.

Unable to get gun control legislation passed in Congress, the President announced in April and May several new regulations for so-called “ghost guns.”

Those are firearms that are not marked with individualized serial numbers, either because that number has been obliterated illegally or because the firearm is exempt from federal laws that generally require those markings.

Most commonly, however, the term is used to refer to a specific type of unmarked gun, those made by private individuals for personal use, often using a variety of prefabricated or partially unfinished firearm parts.

In other words, most ghost guns are just homemade firearms.

Federal law does not regulate gun parts.

Federal law regulates “firearms, which is defined as “a weapon which will or is designed to or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive,” including the weapon’s “frame or receiver.”

Other parts for a firearm could be manufactured and sold without regulation, something President Biden is trying to block.

President Biden’s new rules would expand the definition of a “frame or receiver” to include any part of a gun that can house any part of the firing mechanism.

The rules would also regulate partially completed frames and receivers when sold in “weapons parts kits” containing all of the tools necessary to assemble a firearm.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich led 20 GOP attorney generals in urging the rejection of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) proposed rule change that aimed to regulate ghost guns, calling the move unconstitutional.

AG Morrisey wrote:

“Private individuals and businesses have the right to assemble firearms for their own use — a fact borne out in early American history and expressly recognized by the Gun Control Act.

“The Second Amendment is a core tenant of our Constitution, and this regulation would treat the activity of assembling firearm parts as a problem to be stamped out, rather than a right and tradition to be respected.”

The Biden administration argues that individuals buying partially finished frames and receivers, referred to as “80% receiver,” without having to go through background checks is a serious risk to society.

Specifically, the new rules released by the Department of Justice in May require companies that sell gun kits to print serial numbers on gun parts and run background checks for buyers, both of which are already required for fully assembled guns.

The rule would expand the federal definition of a firearm to include not just completed guns, but also kits that “may readily be assembled” to function as guns, and it broadens the definition of a gun receiver, so it applies to “partially complete” items.

Hobbyists would still be allowed to make their own guns, but licensed dealers would need to ensure all 3D-printed or homemade guns they sell have serial numbers.

Republican-led states have argued that federal law authorizes the ATF to regulate only complete firearms and receivers, not individual parts. They also argue that the new rules would put certain gun part manufacturers out of business.

The states wrote in their opposition letter that the rule change would be unconstitutional because it bypasses Congressional oversight:

“By allowing ATF to decide for itself which firearms it will regulate, unconstrained by Congress’s guidance, the proposed rule is unconstitutional.”

Other GOP states that joined the opposition include Alabama, Arkansas, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota.

Democratic states have voiced their support for the new regulations. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro led 18 blue state attorney generals in urging U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to crackdown on ghost guns. Shapiro wrote in March:

“Ghost guns are quickly becoming the weapon of choice for criminals and fueling the gun violence epidemic.

“These DIY gun kits should be subject to the same background checks and qualifications as fully functioning firearms to prevent criminals who are not legally able to purchase or possess guns from getting their hands on these deadly, untraceable weapons.”

Bearing Arms columnist Tom Knighton wrote that it is clear President Biden’s rules are violating the Constitution:

Of course, these attorneys general are absolutely correct. The ATF doesn’t have the authority.

And let’s think of the broader ramifications of this kind of action. If the ATF can regulate anything firearm-related regardless of what the law expressly allows–which is too much, to be fair, but not it’s not everything–then the agency has carte blanche to decide to require background checks on, say, ammunition or accessories.

Knighton then issued a stark warning for Democrats who continue down this regulatory path:

“Now, I know that Biden and company are doing this because they can’t pass anti-Second Amendment legislation right now, so they’re looking for alternatives. I get it.

“But what politicians tend to forget is that anything you do can be done by your opponents once they’re in control. In a two-party country like ours, the opposition is always going to get a crack at governing, too. Do Democrats really want an agency to be able to regulate things not permitted by law when the GOP regains the White House?”

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Report: Biden’s proposed gun control strategy for combating violent crime has no real scientific data to back it up

July 10, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.- In a recent article from The Washington Times, some experts caution that as it stands, there is not enough evidence to support the notion that President Joe Biden’s plan to combat gun violence was constructed using factual data. 

Biden’s plan to combat the rising spike in violent crime includes targeting licensed gun dealers who break laws, creating strike forces to stop firearms trafficking, and giving more funds to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

The president claims that the three-pronged strategy will save lives, but he has yet to offer any actual metrics on how much his new gun policies will reduce gun deaths. Since 1995, the Rand Corporation, a non-profit think tank, has analyzed thousands of studies on gun police research.

In a report released in 2020, researchers concluded that there was a limited base of scientific evidence on the effects of commonly discussed gun policies.

Among the thousands of studies researchers reviewed, only 123 studies conducted since 1995 were found to have met “high standards” for evidence. The nonprofit did not find a connection between mass shootings and gun dealer misconduct and it provided mixed results on Biden’s other violent-crime reduction proposals.

Additionally, a review of studies on the impact of transferring firearms to a person prohibited on violent crime was also inconclusive.

Rand did state that the studies found that complying with background checks has a moderate impact on violent crime. Andrew Moral, one of the report’s authors said in a statement:

“I want to be clear that moderate or inconclusive evidence doesn’t mean that a gun law is not effective. It means the research, in many cases, hasn’t been done. This is not a field that has a lot of research and in many cases, the research is very weak.”

The gun control group Everytown For Gun Safety claims that its research backs the plan. In a study last year, Everytown found that an estimated 84,380 guns were used in a crime within three years of its first retail purchase.

That same study found that 82 percent of trafficked guns came from states without background check laws. However, Derek Cohen, vice president at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, countered Everytown’s data claim.

He said that the data is skewed because it includes guns legally purchased, but later stolen from a house or car. He stated that Everytown has its own gun control agenda and added:

“It’s a confirmation bias because crime guns are typically the ones stolen from law-abiding citizens, not the ones legally purchases.”

Outside of scientific studies, Cohen said that anecdotal evidence shows that few dealers are connected to gun crimes. He said:

“You could have a pawnbroker that doesn’t adhere to the rules, but I’ve looked at this space for the last 20 years and if the primary focus of a business is selling guns, just because of the licensing requirements, dealers are crossing every T and dotting every I.”

Betsy Brantner Smith, a spokeswoman for the National Police Association, said that the White House administration is trying to distract from the mayhem in cities by focusing on “process crimes,” which are minor offenses such as falsifying firearms transaction records or failing to run a background check. She added:

“When we look at violent crime, most of the offenders did not go to a federal firearm licensed dealer, fill out all of the paperwork, legally purchase a gun, and then go commit a violent crime. That’s such a silly, childish notion. That is not how most of the violent offenders are obtaining their weapons right now.”

Brantner Smith called on law-enforcement groups to conduct their own research. She said:

“We need to show the American people what we are doing, who we are arresting, and what is happening to them as they go through the system. One thing the American public really needs to know is how our system works. Let’s show them and let’s let law enforcement spearhead this.”

Cohen stated that he believes there will be a reduction in crime in the fall, but that it will naturally occur as the colder weather forces people to return indoors. Brantner Smith disagreed by saying she does not expect crime to drop at all, adding that the Biden administration needs to focus on tougher sentences for criminals. She said:

“A year from now, the data that we are going to see is that going after rogue gun dealers will do nothing because that’s not where this problem comes from.” 

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