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Biden announces gun control on ‘ghost guns,’ ‘red flag’ gun confiscation, pistol braces and more

President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House on Jan. 22, 2021. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
April 08, 2021

President Joe Biden announced on Thursday several gun-control measures that will be enacted by the White House, including regulations on pistol braces, a proposed rule to help stop the growth of homemade “ghost gun” firearms and a federal model for state “red flag” laws, moves that were condemned by pro-Second Amendment groups like the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America.

“Today we’re taking steps to confront not just the gun crisis, but what is actually a public health crisis,” Biden said from the White House Rose Garden. “Nothing, nothing I’m about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment. Their phony argument suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake for what we’re talking about, but no amendment to the Constitution is absolute. You can’t yell fire in a crowded movie theater and call it freedom of speech.”

“The idea is just bizarre to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution,” he added.

According to Biden, within 60 days, the Justice Department will issue “a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act.”

Within 30 days, the DOJ plans to “issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of ‘ghost guns’” – homemade firearms built from gun kits.

Within 60 days, the department will publish model “red flag” legislation for states.

“The President urges Congress to pass an appropriate national “red flag” law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass “red flag” laws of their own. In the interim, the Justice Department’s published model legislation will make it easier for states that want to adopt red flag laws to do,” a White House statement issued late Wednesday read.

The Biden administration will also invest in “evidence-based community violence interventions” that it said are “proven strategies for reducing gun violence in urban communities” and will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking.  

The final gun-control measure Biden plans to implement is the nomination of David Chipman to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Wednesday’s statement also reiterated President Joe Biden’s call for Congress to pass gun control legislation, but asserted that the two bills expanding background checks that recently passed in the House wasn’t enough.

“Congress should close those loopholes and go further, including by closing “boyfriend” and stalking loopholes that currently allow people found by the courts to be abusers to possess firearms, banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and investing in evidence-based community violence interventions,” the statement read.

The Biden administration’s statement included calls for Congress to pass “an appropriate national ‘red flag’ law,” but Biden said the White House will move forward with gun control policy “whether Congress acts or not.”

 “But this Administration will not wait for Congress to act to take its own steps – fully within the Administration’s authority and the Second Amendment – to save lives,” the statement read.

The National Rifle Association called the president’s announcement a “circus” that could force Americans to give up their legal property.

“Let’s be clear as we’re watching this Biden circus,” the group tweeted. “These actions could require Americans to surrender lawful property, push states to expand confiscation orders, and put a gun control lobbyist to head ATF.”

“Biden is dismantling the 2nd Amendment,” the NRA continued. “It’s time to STAND and FIGHT!”

Gun Owners of America also denounced the Biden administration’s plans, vowing to “fight Joe Biden’s tyrannical gun control at every turn.”

“Joe Biden knows he cannot beat gun owners in Congress. Instead, he’s circumventing the legislative process to impose his own tyrannical vison by executive fiat,” said Erich Pratt, the group’s Senior Vice President. “GOA is committed to the defense of gun owners, their pistol-braced firearms, do-it-yourself firearm kits, unserialized homemade firearms, as well as any other lawfully-purchased, constitutionally protected items the Biden Administration proposes to criminalize or confiscate.”

Pratt’s statement continued, “GOA will spare no expense to defeat Biden’s tyrannical agenda and will rally gun owners and Second Amendment supporters nationwide to defend the right to keep and bear arms.”