On April 8th, 2021, President Biden broke his silence on gun control regulations that anti-gunners had been demanding since the day of his inauguration at the start of the year. His top 3 focuses were on requiring background checks for 80 percent receivers and frames, instituting a national red flag law, and creating a new assault weapons ban. Today, we fact check Biden to give you more context and the truth behind some of his biased and misinformed remarks.  

“Today, I’m proud to nominate David Chipman to serve as the DIrector of the AFT. David knows the AFT well. He served there for 25 years.”

MORE TRUE THAN FALSE: Ok, Biden, it’s the ATF and not the back of a boat. Chipman must know the inner workings of the ATF pretty well to have landed this opportunity. For all of Biden’s talk of pride as a nation later on in his remarks — what does it say about an administration that endorses a man who was intimately involved in the Waco massacre where 76 people (of which 25 were children) were sanctioned government killings? 

“Gun crisis… is actually a public health crisis… gun violence in this country is an epidemic.”

MORE FALSE THAN TRUE: This is more of an opinion than a fact which is an overall blanket statement that disregards the multi-faceted nature and nuances that make up a variety of gun violence statistics such as gang related activity, isolated incidents, police officer shootings or suicides. 

“Nothing I’m about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment.”

FALSE: All new gun control regulations suggested by Biden on this day was a direct impingement and infringement on the Second Amendment. (Note: impinge and infringe are synonymous to each other) These measures are asinine. In states that don’t require background checks for every firearms related transaction, people are expressly fearful and because of legislation like assault weapon bans that often follow afterwards. What’s the point of lawfully purchasing an item that’s only going to be given a new designation in terms of its legality later on — causing law abiding citizens to unwittingly become criminals overnight for just possession of certain items. Red flag laws are not all Biden talks them up to be. The pursuit of reducing suicides is noble, however, in the case of red flag laws they can do more harm in creating preventable deaths in extra police encounters that may not have been necessary prior to red flag laws being mandated by various states. No matter how it’s framed, taking away Americans’ ability to make their own firearms at home is an exact “impingement” on the Second Amendment.

“They’re phony, arguments suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake….”

FALSE: Our Second Amendment rights certainly are at stake. If Biden had his way, we would be like Canada; reducing the legal magazine capacity to 5 rounds, if not 10, but ultimately lead towards a nationwide gun confiscation or “mandatory buyback program.” Suggesting anything else otherwise as if Biden’s gun control proposals were fair and commonsense is hypocrisy. 

“No amendment to the Constitution is absolute.”

TRUE BUT IT SHOULD BE FALSE: There are limits to the First Amendment like how Biden mentioned you would be legally liable for shouting “fire” in a movie theater if there actually was not a fire. But what has the flexibility of our amendments led to? We now suffer as a nation from political correctness, cancel-culture and a toxic policy for corporations to cover their own end at the cost of people’s livelihoods, opportunities and true freedom of expression. Our Second Amendment gets trampled on all the time, that’s not news to us. But if you take a look at other amendments you’ll notice that several, such as the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th have historically not been followed by judges, courts of law and communities across the country. That’s what this is all about — seeking justice and protection of our rights, not privileges

“A physician, his wife, their two grandchildren, and a person working at the house were killed in South Carolina.” 

TRUE: Unfortunately, it is true that last week a physician, his wife, their two grandchildren and an AC technician were shot and killed by their neighbor, a former NFL player. All references to past victims’ and their family members from related shootings were true.

“Every day in this country 316 people are shot. A hundred and six of them die every day… In less than one week apart, there were more than 850 additional shootings — 850 — that took the lives of more than 250 people, and left 500 — 500 injured.”

NEEDS MORE RESEARCH: Biden used statistics from the Brady Campaign which is problematic because it’s only one reference point. They claim that the data for these numbers came from assessing death certificates from the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting system. Well, did you know one person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease? There are 86,400 seconds in a day so that’s 2,400 deaths per day and about 655,000 deaths annually. See? We can do math too. That’s far more than any supposed gun related death, and no one is demanding a health crisis response for factors causing heart disease. 

“Anyone from a criminal to a terrorist can buy this kit and, in as little as 30 minutes, put together a weapon.”

FALSE: We are professionals and even we can’t put together a complete build for 80 percent pistol frames no less an 80 percent AR style rifle in under an hour (AR-15, AR-10, AR-9). That’s also not including the significant amount of time that would be required for quality assurance and control. Let’s say someone out there is able to actually do that, there’s no guarantee whatever was put together is actually going to function correctly and safely. As for who can or can’t buy 80 percent lower receivers or build kits… residents living in New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington D.C. cannot buy our products online or lawfully own them. That’s 24 million Americans Biden just disregarded. 

“The 2000 ATF report on its investigations into firearms trafficking in America was an important tool for stopping firearms being illegally diverted into dangerous hands…“Today, with online sales and ghost guns, times and trafficking methods have changed, and we have to adjust.”

TRUE: 80 percent lower receivers, pistol frames, and 3D printing were not as common or even in existence back then so if the government is going to decide on a way to regulate all these things, an ATF report from the year 2000 is not going to do anyone any good which is why the Justice Department is planning on not only issuing a new report — they’re planning to update it annually.

“Stabilizing braces makes AR pistols a hell of a lot more accurate and a mini-rifle. It’s more lethal.”

FALSE: How does one measure lethality? Usually, we look to ballistic data and firearms capabilities. Put it like this: Is a Glock 26 more lethal than a Glock 34 just because it’s shorter in length? They’re both highly regarded and reliable semi-automatic handguns. If Biden was referring to a stabilizer brace’s actual use with one hand instead of shouldering the rifle with two arms and hands… then he might have some ground there. If Biden said AR pistols are more concealable then that would be pretty hard to argue with too. However that’s not what was said and still, we reference again the little Russian church scene from John Wick 1. It’s difficult to conceal an AR pistol even for a full size adult. 

“Modifications to firearms that make them more lethal should be subject to the National Firearms Act.” 

FALSE: California’s assault weapons ban is a perfect example for a counter argument to this — In order for a civilian’s AR-15 to not be considered an “assault weapon” they must have a fixed magazine in order to lawfully use accessories such as vertical foregrips, retractable butt stocks, etc. Another method of compliance is to be “featureless.” Part of being featureless requires gun owners to use muzzle brakes instead of flash hiders for fear of a mass shooter being less visible to law enforcement. Muzzle brakes can significantly reduce recoil and increase a shooter’s ability to get multiple shots on target faster compared to flash hiders. It’s ironic that the state of California requires an upgraded part for civilians to stay compliant with their AR-15 rifles.   

“States that have red flag laws have seen a reduction in the number of (gun-related) suicides in their states.”

NEEDS MORE RESEARCH: We can cite far more instances of red flag laws causing unnecessary encounters of the public with law enforcement which can sometimes result in shoot-outs, suicides or preventable deaths.

“We know red flag laws can have a significant effect in protecting women from domestic violence. And we know red flag laws can stop mass shooters before they can act out their violent plans.”

SIR, CITE YOUR SOURCES PLEASE.

“Cities across the country are experiencing historic spikes in homicides — homicide is the leading cause of death of Black boys and men ages 15 to 34.”

SIR, CITE YOUR SOURCES PLEASE.

“Gun violence in America – is estimated to cost the nation $280 billion a year through hospital bills, physical therapy, trauma counseling, legal fees, prison costs, and the loss of productivity.”

SIR, CITE YOUR SOURCES PLEASE.

“Hundreds of thousands of people have been denied guns because of the background checks. What more would have happened?”

TRUE: According to Statista, from 1998 to 2020 there were a little bit over 1 million federal denials that resulted from background checks that were done by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in the United States. However, to put it in a larger perspective, 2020 had 39.7 million background checks that passed and put that amount of guns into the hands of law abiding citizens. 39.7 million guns that were lawfully purchased in one year compared to about 1 million rejected background checks over a 22 year span? Its positive effect is a drop in the bucket compared to what Biden is making it seem. 

Biden blamed the “Charleston Loophole” that allowed the shooter to buy a gun and kill innocent people at a church. 

FALSE: This is an egregious piece of misinformation that should be criminal. The “Charleston Loophole” is not a loophole at all. This policy that Biden is referring to is for certain states that allow guns to be purchased (with a background check) there is a 3 day period in which the FBI must complete that background check. Sometimes it might only take a day and a person will be able to take their firearm purchase home the very next day. This was designed so that one John Smith wouldn’t be mistaken for a different John Smith in the same state with prior convictions or issues that would bar him from legally purchasing a gun. If the FBI takes longer than 3 days to provide a result to a requested background check, the store is legally allowed to proceed with transferring possession of the firearm to the buyer. The Charleston murderer had to wait 5 days before the gun was released to him. 

“Universal background checks are supported by the vast majority of the American people and the vast majority of responsible gun owners.”

TRUE: According to Politifact, a March 2021 poll showed overall American support at 84%. Prior to that several polls on universal background checks in 2019 showed support at or near 90%.

“The idea that we have so many people dying every single day from gun violence in America is a blemish on our character as a nation.”

NEITHER TRUE NOR FALSE: If not for guns, the cause of death would simply be a different method or tool used. Take a look at knife stabbings in the UK, or gun violence in South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, or China… America is not alone in this issue of dealing with violent crimes. But to stake that problem to the pride of our country seems to be convenient for the Biden administration and several past administrations for that matter. No one seems to be taking issue with Big Pharma making billions of dollars off of opioid addictions and deaths they created or caused through pharmaceutical drugs. Yet, it’s the gun industry that’s under the microscope. 

References:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/04/08/remarks-by-president-biden-on-gun-violence-prevention/
https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/education/all_amendments_usconst.htm
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/08/us/south-carolina-shooting.html
https://www.nraila.org/get-the-facts/what-is-the-charleston-loophole/
https://www.statista.com/statistics/249704/reasons-for-firearm-purchase-denial-following-an-nics-background-check-in-the-us/
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/mar/15/colion-noir/universal-background-check-support-near-90-most-re/
https://www.businessinsider.com/gun-sales-boom-2020-background-checks-hit-record-highs-2021-1