During a Wednesday press conference announcing his new gun crime prevention efforts, President Joe Biden said the Second Amendment has always had limitations, and those who think they need weapons to overthrow a tyrannical government would need F-15 fighter jets and nuclear weapons.
Biden said, “If you wanted or if you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons. The point is that there has always been the ability to limit — rationally limit the type of weapon that can be owned and who can own it.”
“The Second Amendment, from the day it was passed, limited the type of people who could own a gun and what type of weapon you could own. You couldn’t buy a cannon,” Biden said. “Those who say the ‘blood of patriots,’ you know, and all the stuff about how we’re going to have to move against the government. Well, the tree of liberty is not watered with the blood of patriots.”
Biden’s comments appeared to paraphrase a quote from Thomas Jefferson, who said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.”
As Biden argued that the Second Amendment has always allowed for limitations, he claimed that from the day the amendment was passed, “You couldn’t buy a cannon.”
Biden previously made the claim that individuals could not own cannons around the time period the Second Amendment was passed. In May 2020, the fact-checking resource PolitiFact rated Biden’s claims about owning cannons “false” and noted instances of private ownership of cannons during the time period, including by American privateers who operated privately-owned vessels with privately-owned cannons to attack other nations’ ships for profit.
During his Wednesday remarks, Biden also claimed most “responsible gun owners” see no justification in owning firearm magazines that can hold 100 rounds.
“Talk to most responsible gun owners and hunters. They’ll tell you there’s no possible justification for having 100 rounds in a magazine of a gun,” he said. “Like I’ve said before: What do you think, the deer are wearing Kevlar vests?”
Biden then said, “Responsible gun owners will tell you that there are too many people today who are able to buy a gun but shouldn’t be able to buy a gun.”
Biden’s remarks came the same day his administration announced five new task forces to stop gun trafficking and threatened to revoke the licenses of gun dealers that disobey federal gun control orders, including those in “Second Amendment “sanctuary states with legislation to nullify federal gun laws.