Republicans in Congress and statehouses threatened legal action Thursday to try to reverse President Biden’s new executive actions on gun control – while Donald Trump Jr. went after Hunter Biden for his own gun purchase.
Biden’s actions, which the president announced Thursday with Attorney General Merrick Garland standing behind him, would crack down on so-called ‘ghost guns,’ tighten requirements for pistol braces which improve accuracy, and issue reports on gun trafficking – while pushing for new laws tightening background checks, banning assault weapons, and holding gun-makers liable for their products in court.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pronounced the new moves, which follow the mass shooting at spas in Atlanta and other tragedies, ‘unconstitutional’ and vowed to pursue ‘every option’ to undo them.
President Joe Biden announced new gun control executive actions in the wake of the Atlanta spa attacks and other mass shooting. Republicans are vowing to sue to roll back ‘unconstitutional’ efforts
McCarthy tweeted: ‘President Biden has ordered the [Justice Department] to issue new rules that will surely result in unconstitutional overreach. Republicans will strongly oppose and pursue every option—be it legislative or judicial—to protect the right to keep and bear arms from infringement by this Administration.’
The House has already passed two bills to tighten background checks.
And amid the legal saber rattling, Donald Trump Jr. blasted Biden for seeking to ‘disarm’ Americans given that his son Hunter was able to ‘lie’ to get a firearm.
‘Biden wants to disarm law-abiding American citizens with unconstitutional gun control measures, but his son Hunter is allowed to break the law and lie on federal background check forms to get a gun with no consequences???’ said Trump Jr., a hunting enthusiast.
Republicans will strongly oppose and pursue every option—be it legislative or judicial—to protect the right to keep and bear arms from infringement by this Administration,’ said House minority leader Kevin McCarthy
Son vs. Son: Donald Trump Jr. went after the new gun control measures, and said Hunter Biden was ‘allowed to break the law and lie on federal background check forms’ to get a firearm
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) also called the moves unconstitutional
Donald Trump Jr. brought up a bizarre incident involving a firearm owned by Hunter Biden, and said he lied to get the permit
Politico reported last March on a 2018 incident where Hallie Biden threw a gun she found in Hunter’s car into a trash bin. When Secret Service agents went to the gun store where Hunter had purchased the 38 seeking sale records, the owner refused to hand them over, in a convoluted saga. The gun, which had been missing from the trash bin when Hallie Biden went back to look for it, reappeared days later.
According to Hunter’s receipt from the gun purchase, which was obtained by Politico, he answered ‘no’ to the question: ‘Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?’
Hunter Biden was discharged from the Navy after testing positive for cocaine.
Other powerful Republicans also dangled legal action over President Biden’s actions.
‘Today, President Biden announced his attempts to trample over our constitutional Second Amendment rights by executive fiat,’ Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said in a statement.
Also joining the fray was South Dakota Gov. Krisi Noem, a Donald Trump loyalist.
‘Taking away guns with Red Flag laws is an infringement,’ she wrote. ‘Placing new limits on firearms sales is an infringement.’
And West Virginia’s Republican attorney general, Patrick Morrisey, also threatened to sue the administration.
Biden Executive Actions on Guns
- Crackdown on ‘ghost guns,’ which are built from kits
- Tighten requirements on pistol braces that allow for more accurate shooting
- Department of Justice will publish ‘red flag’ legislation for the states
- Investment in evidence-based community violence interventions
- DoJ will issue an annual report on gun trafficking
‘Defending the Second Amendment remains one of the most important priorities for the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office,’ he said. ‘I will not allow the far left to run roughshod over our citizens’ gun rights. If President Biden follows through on his proposals, we will be in court very quickly.’
The legal threats a reminder of the limits of executive actions as an instrument for long term change. President Trump took a series of sweeping executive actions on immigration and other matters after taking office, only to see many of them tied up in courts or reversed.
Anticipating the legal battle ahead, Biden said at the White House: ”Nothing I’m about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment. These are phony arguments, suggesting that these are second amendment rights at stake.’
Biden’s reliance on executive actions stems in part from the difficulty over decades of getting gun control legislation through Congress, where Republican opposition is strong, some Democrats including those from rural districts are more skeptical than their liberal colleagues, and where the Senate filibuster prevents a majority from acting.
The assault weapons ban, enacted in 1994, expired in 2004. President Barack Obama failed to get significant gun control legislation after Sandy Hook and other massacres.
And Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas argued the answer wasn’t more legislation but a crackdown on those who used guns in crimes.
‘The right to keep and bear arms is fundamental for preserving our liberty. The answer is not to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, the answer is to go after violent criminals and come down on them like a ton of bricks,’ he tweeted.
And Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia tweeted a photo of herself with an AK-47, writing: ‘The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT be infringed!’