Joe Biden’s gun policy page on his campaign website states that he would ban all online gun and ammunition sales as President, a draconian policy that has largely gone unnoticed thus far in a Democratic primary that has seen serious candidates calling for the mandatory confiscation of semiautomatic rifles.
The proposition is in the middle of his lengthy gun control policy platform, which features calls to outright ban the sale of new semiautomatic rifles and hold gun manufacturers liable for crimes committed with the use of their products.
The link on his call to ban the online sales of guns and ammo leads to a manifesto from March for our Lives, David Hogg’s gun control group.
Buying a gun online is substantively similar to actually buying a gun in person. Online vendors are required to transfer the firearm to a registered Federal Firearms License holder, who conducts the same federal background check that would be carried out for any other sale for a price. Federal firearms licensees are almost always gun retailers themselves, making the process not too different at all from a fully in-person sale.
Outright banning online gun and ammunition sales would wholly segregate the nation’s law-abiding firearms community for participating in the world of e-commerce. E-commerce giants such as Amazon and Ebay already restrict the sales of guns and ammo on their platforms, a move that actually enables a diverse online community of retailers to take up a stake in the industry.
Simply eliminating online sales overnight would destroy countless profitable small businesses, putting up to tens of thousands of people out of their jobs. It would drive up prices for America’s hunting, sporting and self-defense enthusiasm, forcing them to limit their options for a retail market that massive corporations are already seeking to restrict even further.
Biden said that he was going to charge infamous gun confiscation enthusiast Beto O’Rourke with enforcing his gun control agenda, suggesting the party elder could go even further, bowing in deference to the most extreme anti-Second Amendment voices within his own party.
If Democrats Win, Will Guns Sales Go Through the Roof?
No matter who wins in 2020, the biggest story of this election cycle has been the record levels of gun sales. In a piece titled “Guns Sales Break Records With Gun Control Legislation Likely If Democrats Win”, Newsweek highlights the meteoric rise of gun sales in 2020 and how these sales will only go up under a Biden administration.
It’s likely that a Biden win on November 3, 2020 will give life to gun control measure such as universal background checks, assault weapons bans, and national gun buybacks. Scott Reeves of Newsweek noted that “coronavirus pandemic, urban riots and the likelihood of increased regulation if the Democrats win the White House, regain control of the Senate and hold the House” have led to the unprecedented firearms sales. A Biden win would only accelerate this trend, as people become frightened by the prospect of gun control.
Through September, background checks recorded by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) reached 28.826 million. This total surpassed 2019’s record of 28.369 million, representing a 28 percent increase, according to the FBI report. As of September 30, Illinois was leading the nation in background checks with 5.6 million. Reeves noted that other states such as Kentucky (2.364 million) checks, Texas (1.730 million), Florida (1.386 million), Indiana (1.203 million), California (1.187 million) and Pennsylvania (1.030 million), were also experiencing significant upticks in gun sales.
Since NICS came into effect on November 1998, a total of 361.830 million background checks for all purposes have been completed since the program began in November 1998.
Zogby Analytics provided some more data showing how enthusiastic Americans are about buying guns:
Zogby Analytics in Utica, New York found that the number of gun owners increased 3.9% between October 2019 and October 2020 to 31.3% of the population. The number of individuals in a household keeping a gun at home, work, vacation cottage or club for personal protection, hunting or target shooting increased 7% to 42.2% in the last year. Membership in the National Rifle Association, a gun rights advocacy group, increased 6% to 17.7% in the last year, Zogby’s polling found.
“While there is fierce debate in Washington D.C. and among voters about what certain types of guns and accessories constitute ‘assault weapons,’ adults in the U.S. are buying and keeping more guns,” Jonathan Zogby declared.
Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, an anti-Second Amendment organization, is of the opinion that uncertainty brought about by the Wuhan virus pandemic, riots, and the election are contributing factors to the rise in gun sales.
“Typically, gun sales rise in times of fear,” he said to Newsweek. “We live in a time when there’s a lot of fear, including fear that there might be more gun regulation with a Democratic President and Democratic majorities in Congress. And, there’s been a lot of unrest.”
Americans actions speak louder than their words. Even if Joe Biden does the unthinkable (and the very unlikely) by winning on November 3, his administration will encounter stiff resistance from gun-owning Americans across the political spectrum.
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