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Biden Administration Announces New Gun Restrictions

Source: Flickr/The White House

America is unique in the first world for many reasons, but none so divisive as the Second Amendment. The United States is the only developed nation in the world that enshrines the right to own a gun into the federal constitution, and this fact has led to a deep divide between conservatives and liberals over where that particular right ends and where restrictions are appropriate. 

Increased Gun Violence in America

The conversation has become especially important in the last twenty years with the increase of gun violence in America. Mass shootings are a common occurrence, and school shootings are far more prevalent than even the most staunch gun rights’ activists would want. 

Source: Flickr/M and R Glasgow

Unfortunately, any meaningful gun control legislation has been hampered by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and staunch Second Amendment absolutists. Lobbying on the part of the NRA and protests on the part of gun rights’ advocates have created a challenging political environment, to say the least. 

Multiple Attempts at Gun Control Legislation

There have been multiple attempts to implement gun control legislation in Congress, coming at the issue from various different angles. Bills have been introduced that would mandate red flag laws, ban assault weapons, make background checks mandatory, and more.

Source: Wikimedia/Michael Stokes

At every turn, though, Republicans have blocked this legislation, like they have blocked many other progressive bills. Much of the reasoning has stemmed from the rights that are granted by the Second Amendment, which absolutists claim mean that there should be no restrictions on guns, whatsoever.

Delegating Control to the States

This federal blockade against gun control legislation has largely delegated the responsibility of gun control legislation to the states. More liberal states have taken steps to create stricter gun restrictions within their state’s borders, while more conservative states have done everything in their power to reduce gun restrictions as much as humanly possible.

Source: Wikimedia/United States Senate – Office of Dan Sullivan

That has created an uneven patchwork of laws from state to state regarding guns. In states like Texas, there are essentially no restrictions on buying a gun or being able to carry one out in public, and Governor Greg Abbott has vowed to reduce restrictions even further. 

Liberal States Passing Restrictions

In states like Washington, though, the state legislature recently passed a law that bans the sale and distribution of assault weapons. This was a controversial law in the state, despite the fact that Washington state is one of the most liberal regions in the country. 

Source: Wikimedia/Jeffery Hayes

This patchwork of laws has created some inconsistencies, not only in the way that guns are viewed, but also in the enforcement of local laws when someone crosses outside of state borders to violate them. This is largely in relation to people who leave a state with harsh gun restrictions to buy one in a state with fewer, but the conversation is worthy of having. 

Biden Pushing for Federal Legislation

This patchwork and uncertainty surrounding guns and gun laws is why the Biden administration has been pushing for federal gun legislation to pass. Biden was one of the architects of the original assault weapons ban that expired in the early 2000’s, and he has been advocating for a new federal assault weapons ban that would align with modern technological advancements. 

Source: Wikimedia/David Lienemann

Republicans in Congress have been vehemently against this sort of sweeping legislation regarding guns, though. Second Amendment absolutists in Congress have gone out of their way to stall any meaningful gun control legislation at all, despite the fact that some gun control measures are very popular with Americans at large. 

A Significant Measure Passing Congress in 2022

It is because of this legislative blockade that many extensive gun measures have failed in committee, or never made it to the floor for a formal debate and vote. 

Source: Wikimedia/David Lienemann

However, there has been one major win from the Biden administration on the gun control front. In 2022, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act passed in Congress and was signed into law by Biden. It was the first significant gun legislation passed in decades, and the administration lauded it as a significant step in the right direction for gun control. 

About The Safer Communities Act

The bill implemented changes to the mental health system, school safety programs, and gun control laws. It expanded background checks for firearm purchasers under the age of 21, clarified Federal Firearms License requirements, authorized funding for state red flag laws and other crisis intervention programs, and partial closure of the boyfriend loophole.

Source: Wikimedia/Darknipples

While the legislation didn’t ban any types of guns outright, it made significant progress in addressing many of the concerns of anti-gun advocates. These are individuals who believe that the widespread availability of guns is largely at fault for gun violence, and these types of laws make it more difficult for people to get guns when they shouldn’t. 

The Biden Administration Moving Forward

The bill has been challenged in various state legislatures across the country, despite the fact that the legislation passed with bipartisan support and is widely supported by constituents across the country. 

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

In spite of the challenges, the Biden administration has moved forward with further clarification of gun laws and progression of the gun control agenda. Most recently, the White House announced new gun restrictions, which would require background checks for all gun dealers who are engaged in the business of firearms dealing. 

Closing the Gun Show Loophole

The new rule is intended to close the “gun show loophole,” which has allowed tens of thousands of guns to be sold every year by unlicensed dealers who do not perform background checks. Prior to the change in the law, the only people who were required to perform background checks on potential buyers were people who made selling guns their full-time career or job.

Source: Wikimedia/Ibagli

The new rule changes the definition of who a gun dealer is. Under the new regulations, anyone who sells guns at all is considered a dealer in their state of residence, and will be required to register with the state and perform all required checks for potential buyers. 

The Latest Blow to Gun Violence

This new rule is the administration’s latest effort to combat gun violence, as well as show younger voters that the White House is making a real effort to stop deaths by gun violence in America. 

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

“This is going to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and felons,” said Joe Biden in a statement. “And my administration is going to continue to do everything we possibly can to save lives. Congress needs to finish the job and pass universal background checks legislation now.”

Requiring Registration as a Firearms Dealer

The new rule would also prohibit the sale of firearms between private citizens in states where there is no current regulation, such as Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, and Arkansas. The language of the regulation also states that it prohibits anyone from selling weapons “predominantly to earn a profit” without registering as a licensed dealer.

Source: Wikimedia/Trekphiler

This sweeping rule change has gun rights’ groups up in arms, shortly after the announcement. Many are criticizing the rule change as a wide overstretch of authority on the part of the Biden administration, and it’s likely that these groups will challenge the rule in court. 

Exceptions Under the Rule

There are some exceptions that are provided in the rule, though. Collectors can still sell their inventory under this rule, for example. Guns can also be given as gifts to family members, and personal sales that are tied to a hobby like hunting are also carved out in the rules. 

Source: Wikimedia/Seraphimblade

The new rule comes just ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting on April 20. The guns that were used in the shooting were sold by an unlicensed seller at a gun show five months before the massacre, a fact that has been reiterated repeatedly in the calls for further gun regulations to keep Americans safe. 

The Administration Taking Guns Seriously

Though it’s inevitable that this new rule will be challenged in court, it shows that the Biden administration is taking American’s concerns surrounding guns seriously. 

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

History tells us that gun right’s advocates will use the Second Amendment as the reason that this new rule cannot go into place, though it doesn’t do anything to take guns away from Americans. Hopefully, courts will side with the administration and allow the rule to go into effect in order to help make life a little bit safer for everyone. 

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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