Almost immediately after President Joe Biden signed an executive order on guns Tuesday, firearms groups reacted, and it was purely negative as they accused the administration of using the new gun control scheme to distract the country from Biden’s failure to keep violent criminals in check.
Biden’s White House said he signed the executive order “with the goal of increasing the number of background checks conducted before firearm sales, moving the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation,” according to a White House fact sheet.
But Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a national organization with 650,000 members and supporters, has a far different perspective.
“Joe Biden is trying to sell this new gun control scheme the way he’s always done, by promising less violent crime and safer neighborhoods,” Gottlieb said, “but this plan isn’t going to accomplish either goal, and he knows it. This sleight-of-hand maneuver simply makes it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms, while creating the impression gun dealers are crooks and the industry is unregulated.
“This is just another chapter in Joe Biden’s war on gun rights,” he added. “It is a diversion to the Democrat failure to keep Americans safe from violent criminals who are released without bail and are free to prey on us all.”
Likewise, the National Shooting Sports Foundation had an equally negative reaction.
“The Biden administration should demand that soft-on-crime prosecutors and lawmakers use the laws already in existence to lock up criminals that misuse firearms to prey on innocent Americans,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “Instead, this administration continues to scapegoat the firearm industry for its unwillingness to address crime. The failure of this administration to seriously address spiraling crime and instead focus its attacks on a Constitutionally-protected industry that works diligently to remain in compliance with laws and regulations and actively cooperates with law enforcement, especially ATF, exposes the lack of urgency Americans demand to curb rampant and out-of-control crime.”
The Independent is reporting that so-called “gun reform advocacy groups” are cheering the announcement, calling Biden’s new scheme “major progress.” The gun control lobby reportedly sees this as another step toward mandating so-called “universal background checks.”
As noted by the BBC, Biden’s executive order “does not require the approval of Congress.” Essentially, Biden is bypassing Congress to push his gun control agenda.
“Universal background checks – or the requirement to run a gun buyer’s information through an FBI database before a sale is made – are seen as key to closing legal loopholes that allow prohibited purchases and are supported by a broad majority of the American public,” the BBC report says. “But legislation that requires criminal background checks for all gun sales has languished in the Senate with even some Democrats opposing it.”
Second Amendment advocates have repeatedly argued that criminals don’t get their firearms through regular channels, including gun shows, and they do not bother with background checks. Guns traded back and forth between criminals are often stolen.
Still, anti-gunners are touting this as a victory. Writing on Twitter, John Feinblatt, president of the Everytown for Gun Safety lobbying group declared, “This is the latest example of President biden’s leadership on gun safety, and we’re proud to stand with him as he takes robust action to help close the gun-seller loophole—which will significantly expand background checks on gun sales.”
“This is the latest example of President Biden’s leadership on gun safety, and we’re proud to stand with him as he takes robust action to help close the gun-seller loophole—which will significantly expand background checks on gun sales." – @JohnFeinblatt https://t.co/IBcWhwA84V
— Everytown (@Everytown) March 14, 2023
Biden’s plan, according to the White House fact sheet, involves efforts to “reduce the loss or theft of firearms during shipment and to improve reporting of such losses or thefts, including by engaging with carriers and shippers.”
The Biden administration is focused on “holding the gun industry accountable,” but there is nothing in the fact sheet about cracking down on criminals who misuse firearms.
According to the White House fact sheet, Biden will encourage the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “to issue a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market firearms to minors and how such manufacturers market firearms to all civilians, including through the use of military imagery.”
He will also “Provide the public and policymakers with more information regarding federally licensed firearms dealers who are violating the law.”
In addition, the fact sheet says Biden will also direct the Secretary of Defense to develop and implement principles to further firearm and public safety practices through Department of Defense acquisition of firearms, consistent with applicable law.
“So,” Gottlieb remarked, “Biden wants the Defense Department to buy more guns, he will blame crime on gun dealers and tell gun makers how to market their products. But he won’t tell the Justice Department to crack down on recidivist criminals, he’s not asking the courts to lock up armed felons and he’s continuing to treat the Second Amendment as a second-class right.
“Biden has always had an anti-gun agenda,” he added, “and on this important constitutional issue, he has never let the courts, public opinion or the Bill of Rights get in his way.”
“This is textbook Joe Biden,” Gottlieb said. “Talk tough, make it appear he’s doing something about crime when he really isn’t, and ultimately just continue penalizing law-abiding gun owners for crimes they didn’t commit. The only people who will be any safer are the criminals who ignore gun control laws already.”