In a speech to the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference, President Joe Biden pledged to ban “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” again “come hell or high water.” However, critics were quick to push back, citing Second Amendment protections.
“I know I make some of you uncomfortable, but that little state above me, in Delaware, is one of the — has the highest rate — one of the highest rates of gun ownership,” Biden said during his speech. “But guess what? We’re going to ban assault weapons again come hell or high water.”
U.S. Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., told The Center Square, “the Second Amendment is not subject to interpretation by bureaucrats in Washington and cannot be taken away by Congress. Rather than confiscating firearms from law-abiding Americans, our priorities should be to protect and equip our police and crack down on violent crime.”
Biden has already taken a series of executive actions that have led to legal challenges and rulings that push back on his agenda, such as the eviction moratorium and COVID mandates.
The U.S. Supreme Court has also recently bolstered gun rights. Last summer, the high court struck down a New York gun law that required residents to prove they had “proper cause” to receive a permit to carry a firearm outside the home. The court ruled 6-3, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the opinion that “recognized that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect the right of an ordinary, law-abiding citizen to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense.”
Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., introduced the “Assault Weapons Ban” in January, which would “ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and other high-capacity ammunition feeding devices.”
“It’s time we stand up to the gun lobby and remove these weapons of war from our streets, or at the very least keep them out of the hands of young people,” Feinstein said in a statement.
However, a companion bill has not passed either chamber this Congress, despite having support from more than 200 Democrats.
“President Biden didn’t have the votes in Congress to get this ineffective and patently unconstitutional measure passed even when Democrats controlled the House,” said Amy Swearer, Heritage senior legal fellow. “He certainly doesn’t have the votes now, when the most recent polls show support for this type of law is lower now than it was in previous years. Unless the president plans on stripping Americans’ Second Amendment rights via executive fiat (a real ‘come hell, high water, or constitutional crisis’ scenario), then it’s difficult to see this as anything more than the President once again blowing smoke on behalf of Gun Control, Inc.”
Biden’s pledge to ban “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” has drawn criticism from those who believe it would infringe on their Second Amendment rights. However, proponents argue that it is necessary to reduce gun violence. The debate over gun control will continue, with the fate of the “Assault Weapons Ban” uncertain.
Re: “remove these weapons of war”
The purpose of the Second Amendment is clearly stated in the Preamble to the Bill of Rights where it says “The convention of a number of states having at the time of their adopting of the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse, of its powers that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added”. Note that when the Second Amendment was written, every weapon was a “weapon of war”, there were no restrictions on the private ownership of weapons by law abiding, private citizens and the militia was equally matched with the Continental Army. After all, if they weren’t equally matched, it would be pretty hard to deter or “prevent misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers – so in reality, the citizen militia of today should have the same firearms as the current US military. Unfortunately we are no longer equally matched because we have let our gun rights be eroded by buying into this notion if we just compromise to accommodate the people who – for whatever reason – don’t like guns they will quit trying to take away our gun rights. History has shown that no matter how much we compromise, it’s never enough so we need to stop compromising.
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