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Biden says gun control ‘doesn’t violate’ Second Amendment because ‘no amendment is absolute’

President Joe Biden, Nov. 15, 2021, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)
February 04, 2022

President Joe Biden on Thursday said his new gun-control effort to combat gun violence “doesn’t violate anybody’s Second Amendment rights,” adding that “no amendment [is] absolute.”

During a trip to New York, President Biden spoke alongside Attorney General Merrick Garland, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams on the administration’s “comprehensive strategy to reduce gun crime.”

“I have the United States attorney general with me here today and we put together a comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime in cities like New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and many other cities, San Francisco,” Biden said. “First, we want to crack down on the flow of firearms used to commit violence. That includes taking on and shutting down rogue gun dealers. It’s about doing background checks, as well as outright selling, making sure the people who are not allowed to have a gun don’t get the gun in the first place.”

“And again, for any of the press that’s listening, this doesn’t violate anybody’s Second Amendment right. There’s no violation of the Second Amendment right. There’s no amendment that’s absolute,” Biden continued. “When the amendment was passed, it didn’t say anybody could own a gun and any kind of gun and any kind of weapon. You couldn’t buy a cannon when this amendment was passed, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to buy certain assault weapons. But that’s another issue.”

This isn’t the first time President Biden has falsely claimed Americans couldn’t own a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed.

After Biden made the same claim last year, David Kopel, the research director and Second Amendment project director at the Independence Institute, said Biden’s claim about cannons and limits on firearms was “wrong.”

When the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791, “there were no federal laws about the type of gun you could own, and no states limited the kind of gun you could own,” Kopel said, according to a fact check by The Washington Post, which gave the president’s repeated false claim “Four Pinocchios.”

Also on Thursday, Biden referred to the Glock, a popular handgun available in the civilian market, as a “weapon of war” and said he doesn’t see why such a firearm should be allowed to be purchased.

“I’ve spoken to their families, and — and their loss for the city is also a loss for the nation,” Biden said. “You know, the future is cut short by a man with a stolen Glock with 40 rounds — a magazine with 40 rounds. And it’s really a weapon of war.”