President Joe Biden began his assault on the Second Amendment on February 14, 2021. Not coincidentally, this marks the three-year anniversary of the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that killed 14 students and three teachers.
In his statement, Biden calls on Congress to enact “commonsense gun law reforms,” which include mandatory background checks, an assault weapons ban, a high-capacity magazine ban, and paves the way for gun manufacturers to be held accountable for putting “weapons of war on our streets.”
We knew this day was coming. We knew Biden’s intentions before his inauguration. Frankly, it’s surprising that it took this long for him to take a shot at the Second Amendment.
American assault weapons bans are not a new idea. In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act. Unsurprisingly, the ban on assault weapons did little to curb violent crime in the nation. In fact, Columbine, one of the deadliest school shootings in history, occurred during the duration of the ban.
Unfortunately for gun owners, the Supreme Court has largely punted on questions related to the Second Amendment. The two landmark Second Amendment cases leave much to be desired in the way of Second Amendment judicial precedent. Even still, many of the proposed bans by the Biden administration lack the legal muster to hold up in court, especially with a 6-3 conservative majority.
For instance, gun manufacturers have rightfully avoided liability in civil lawsuits stemming from shootings. There are a number of different reasons for this, the largest being that gun manufacturers are not selling their products to the general public. Local retailers are the parties running background checks and putting guns in the hands of everyday people. Therefore, the manufacturers have no way to regulate who purchases their product.
Should people be able to sue Coca Cola for health issues stemming from all those extra large Cokes they ordered from McDondalds? No. The same principle applies here.
Fortunately, the Supreme Court in United States v. Miller created, and later strengthened in DC v. Heller, the “common use” doctrine, which protects popular firearms and the common ways in which they are used. Furthermore, with up to 16 million AR 15’s as of 2019 present in the United States alone, the Court is bound to uphold the common use doctrine again.
With regard to high-capacity magazine legislation, former President Donald Trump may be partially responsible for muddy legal waters. In 2018, the Trump administration banned bump stocks, a nonserialized accessory designed to fire semi automatic rifles at higher rates than normal. Owners were forced to turn in their bump stocks or destroy them outright. However, there was no way to track these items because they were not serialized. This creates a slippery slope for the future of “high capacity” magazines as another nonserialized accessory.
In the case of sweeping gun legislation, the people have more power than one would think. Gun owners across the country were able to stop the ATF in their tracks after they proposed a rule changing the classification for AR pistols. After the proposition was published in the Federal Registry, it took just 5 days to garner over 70,000 comments before the ATF swiftly backed down.
The proposed rule by the ATF was quite technical and really only applied to roughly 4 million braces, but tens of thousands still showed their support anyway. This should provide hope for firearm enthusiasts against Biden’s future moves.
Going forward, it is imperative that the gun community keep up the passion for grassroots efforts to curb liberty-limiting undertakings by the Biden administration.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.