In announcing a set of executive orders on gun control on Thursday, President Biden stated that “no amendment is absolute,” while maintaining that “nothing” he is recommending “impinges” on the Second Amendment.
“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 on Thursday.
“Nothing, nothing I am about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment,” the president said, dismissing arguments that those constitutional rights are at stake as “phony.”
“No amendment, no amendment to the Constitution is absolute,” he said. “You can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded movie theater — remember your free speech.” You couldn’t have any weapon you wanted from the beginning. Certain people were not permitted to own firearms from the beginning of the Second Amendment’s existence.”
“So the idea is just bizarre,” he continued, “to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution.”
The president went on to call gun violence in America “an epidemic.”
“Let me say it again, gun violence in this country is an epidemic,” Biden said. “And it’s an international embarrassment.”
On Thursday, Biden announced a series of executive actions and legislative proposals aimed at reducing gun violence.
Biden is requesting that the Justice Department proposed a rule to prohibit “ghost guns,” which are “kits” that people can legally buy and then fully assemble to create a functioning firearm without a serial number, within a month.
Biden is also requesting that the DOJ issue a report on gun trafficking within 60 days, as well as proposing a rule on braces used for handguns to improve accuracy; proposing action on “community violence intervention”; requesting that the DOJ publish suggestions for “red flag” legislation; and requesting that his administration issued a report on gun trafficking.
In addition, Biden formally appointed David Chipman as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
According to a senior administration official, Chipman will respect the Second Amendment while enforcing gun laws.
“I’ve seen with my own two eyes what a bullet can do to the human body… and I’ve fought my entire career to combat this violence and pass reasonable gun safety” legislation, Vice President Harris said as she introduced Biden.
“What exactly are we waiting for?” Because we aren’t waiting for a disaster… “There has been more tragedy than we can bear,” she said. “The solutions exist… people on both sides of the aisle want action, real people … so all that is left is the will and the courage to act.”
The Biden administration is also expected to support gun control legislation in Congress.
Republicans, meanwhile, have expressed reservations about Biden’s agenda, which extends far beyond the actions he will announce on Thursday. The president has stated that he supports an assault weapons ban, voluntary buybacks of assault weapons, repealing a law that protects gun manufacturers from being sued for crimes committed with guns, and much more.
“By appointing the anti-gun Merrick Garland as attorney general and nominating David Chipman — formerly a senior staffer at the leading gun control lobby — to head ATF, Biden has made clear his sights are set on restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners while ignoring criminals and foregoing substantive measures that will actually keep Americans safe,” the National Rifle Association (NRA) said.
“Furthermore, the proposals announced tonight by Biden could require law-abiding citizens to surrender lawful property and allow states to expand gun confiscation orders.” “The NRA will oppose this nomination as well as ill-conceived executive actions,” the NRA added.