It’s no big surprise that President Joe Biden supports a strict gun control agenda. He’s been talking about it for years. What is different now is that the President has a Democrat House led by gun control proponent Nancy Pelosi, and a 50/50 Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker.
What is the Biden/Pelosi gun control agenda, and will they be able to enact it? Here are the bills offered thus far:
H.R. 121 by Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee: To provide for the hiring of 200 additional Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and investigators to enforce gun laws.
H.R. 125 by Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee: To provide for a 7-day waiting period before a semi automatic firearm, a silencer, armor piercing ammunition, or a large capacity ammunition magazine may be transferred.
H.R. 127 by Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee: To provide for the licensing of firearm and ammunition possession, and to prohibit the possession of certain ammunition.
H. R. 135 by Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee: To require the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to report to the Congress semiannually on the number of firearms transfers resulting from the failure to complete a background check within 3 business days, and the procedures followed after it is discovered that a firearm transfer has been made to a transferee who is ineligible to receive a firearm.
H.R. 167 by Texas Congressman Al Green: To prohibit the transfer of a firearm at a gun show by a person who is not a federally licensed firearms dealer.
Just because there is a Democrat majority in the House doesn’t mean that these bills would be guaranteed each Democrat vote. The margin is a thin 10 vote majority, and it’s not a safe assumption that every Democratic member will vote in favor of all of the gun control bills. And in the Senate, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is not a reliable vote for gun control, among other typically-Democrat issues.
During the Presidential campaign, then-candidate Biden promised that Beto O’Rourke would, “take care of the gun problem with me,” but O’Rourke hasn’t yet been offered any positions with the administration. Remember that O’Rourke said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15s, your AK-47s…”, but then dropped out of the Presidential race. Biden hasn’t listed any gun control in his proposed initial executive orders.
That’s not to say that there won’t be a push for gun control. History reminds us that it’s more certain than not. It will be a matter of where in the next two years President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will prioritize it. And there is a Congressional 2nd Amendment Caucus, being co-chaired by Congressman Thomas Massie and Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert. The caucus will be a feisty and vocal opposition at each step in the legislative process. If any gun control bills pass, they won’t pass without a very public battle played out on the airwaves. Stand by for fireworks!
The question remains: will these bills, if passed, keep any of us safer? In short, they will not. They are largely a retread of each previous year’s gun control offerings. The bill names and bill sponsors may change, but more of the same proposals means they won’t keep any of us safer. In the case of H.R. 167, some are even repetitive of laws that are already in place.
This early in the terms of the 46th Presidency and the 117th Congress, there are a lot of competing policy priorities. We will update readers here as these gun control bills progress.