Gun control activists cheer Biden’s new executive action on locks
House Democrats pushing law that leads to confiscation
Gun control activists know they have a pressure point with Pres. Joe Biden now. The midterm election doesn’t look good for Democrats, so Biden needs to gin up his base. To do that, he has a new executive action for gun control.
The new ATF rule for gun locks is a baby step to what he promised to do if elected. As I wrote last April, Biden asked his Attorney General, Merrick Garland to find “concrete actions I could take now without going through Congress.”
On a parallel track, Congressional Democrats are readying a law that uses gun locks as a method to confiscate your guns. Let me explain…
New ATF rule
The Department of Justice announced a new ATF rule that says federal firearms licensees (FFLs) are required “to certify that they have secure gun storage devices available to their customers for purchase.”
The regulation requires that these devices “be compatible with the firearms offered for sale by the licensee.” The rule —linked in sources at the bottom— goes into effect on Feb. 3.
Biden’s Attorney General, Merrick Garland, said the purpose is to “reduce the risk of firearms falling into the wrong hands.” The AG added “gun safety” is a priority, and “we will continue to take all appropriate steps to help reduce the number of people killed and injured by the misuse of firearms.”
Gun grabber rejoice
Biden made the gun-control leaders happy. John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety:
“We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for taking this important step and we look forward to it making more critical progress on gun safety in the new year.”
“Critical progress on gun safety” is a reference to Biden’s campaign promise to “pass legislation requiring firearm owners to store weapons safety in their homes.” It’s still up on the Biden-Harris campaign website, here:
Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, retweeted White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan E Rice and praised the “Biden-Harris Administration” for “taking the lead on gun safety.”
Gun dealers hold their fire
Dan Eldridge, the owner of Maxon Shooter’s Supplies outside of Chicago, said the ATF rule is “what we old timers call an ‘eyewash.’”
“It’s something we already do and have done for time immemorial,” Eldridge told me in an interview Monday. He explained that it is already federal law that an FFL must sell gun safes or locks.
Eldridge and all other dealers get their licenses from ATF with an application (linked at the bottom) that says:
I certify that secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place in which firearms are sold…
Since all new firearms come with cable locks from the manufacturer, Eldridge told me he complies with the law by just giving away free locks when selling a used firearm. So, I asked him what will change when the rule goes into effect this week.
“As a retailer, it doesn’t change the way we do business in any way,” replied Eldridge. “They are taking a victory lap for this gun control that is already a part of our license. It’s what we agreed to do. It’s redundant.”
Larry Keane is SVP of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) which represents gun manufacturers and dealers in Washington. I texted him about the ATF rule.
“Nothing new here. It is Biden/DOJ theatre to make it seems like they are doing something new or meaningful,” Keane texted back. “They only made a rule to say what is already required by law.”
Gun confiscation on Capitol Hill
So if this gun locks executive action isn’t new or meaningful, why are the activists pleased?
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) gave the inside track on where this gun safety concept is headed when he called for it to lead to “my federal version of Ethan’s Law.”
The so-called Ethan’s Law was introduced in the House when Biden was inaugurated last year.
I noticed in the weeks since the Biden administration announced the ATF rule, the number of cosponsors jumped. It now has 191 cosponsors– that’s out of 222 Democrats in the House.
The link to the bill text is at the bottom. The bill summary is:
At the federal level, the bill establishes statutory requirements for firearms on residential premises to be safely stored if a minor is likely to gain access without permission or if a resident is ineligible to possess a firearm.
An individual who violates the requirements is subject to criminal penalties. A firearm stored in violation of the requirements is subject to seizure and forefieture.
For those ready to say this whole article is a conspiracy theory, the phrase “seizure and forfeiture” means confiscation.
Gun locks and the Second Amendment
Many states already have a version of “Ethan’s Law” on the books. (California moved just last week to do it.)
But the Supreme Court ruled on locks at home in the landmark Heller decision (attached below- always a great read!) My friend Dick Heller challenged the D.C. law that said he had to keep his guns unloaded and have a trigger lock.
The ruling says, in part:
the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.
But the high court ruling was about the functionality of the gun at home – basically whether you could grab it and immediately defend yourself. The Democrats wrote their bill to allow a person to keep the gun loaded and on your body, which may get around that issue.
Politics of gun control
I waited until this far into the article to explain that the gun-control activists say…