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If we have a Joe Biden administration in the White House on Jan. 20, we will have the most overtly anti-gun president in American history.

Biden’s plan lists effectively every gun control measure ever proposed: banning “assault weapons,” banning “high-capacity” magazines, limiting the number of guns an American can purchase, holding manufacturers liable for the criminal misuse of their products, and many, many more.

Out of the myriad options a Biden administration will have to infringe on our constitutional protections, which will they choose first? Based on my experience with clients and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (AFT) as a firearms attorney, some recent news events, and a bit of firearm-industry intuition, I think the first things a Biden administration will do regarding guns if given the chance are:

  • Banning pistol braces
  • Banning homemade firearms/80 percent receivers
  • Banning online firearm and ammunition sales

Shortly after the first bans, and if he has the help of the Senate, the next gun control measures will likely be:

  • Banning “assault weapons”
  • Banning “high capacity” magazines
  • Requiring universal background checks

Let’s examine each of these in turn.

1. Banning Pistol Braces

Pistol braces are attachments to the rear of a handgun designed to provide stability to the shooter by using the shooter’s forearm as support. Currently, adding a pistol brace to a handgun does not change the firearm’s legal status as a handgun. This is why pistol braces are so popular.

If a buttstock (a device designed to allow the firearm to be fired from the shooter’s shoulder) were added to the same firearm instead of a pistol brace, then the firearm would change classification to a rifle and significant legal implications could occur. Under federal law, a rifle must have a barrel length of at least 16 inches to avoid classification as a “short-barreled rifle” and be subject to extra restrictions, registration, and taxes.

As most of these pistols with pistol braces have barrels shorter than 16 inches, their status as a non-rifle is legally significant. If Biden is able to ban pistol braces, millions of otherwise law-abiding gun owners would become criminals overnight.

The ATF has already signaled that banning pistol braces is their number-one priority. This is one more odd move by the ATF, which originally certified the devices as non-buttstocks, then determined they couldn’t be shouldered, rescinding their opinion, and now wants to ban them outright. In fact, their legal gymnastics are so difficult to follow and unfair, Rep. Matt Gaetz has been unsuccessfully looking for answers on ATF’s overreach.

2. Banning Homemade Firearms

Under federal law it is perfectly legal for anyone who is legally allowed to possess a firearm to make his own gun at home for personal use. In the past few years, companies have offered components to make it even easier to make your own firearm at home.

These frames or receivers, often called “80 percent receivers,” have not yet crossed the legal line into becoming a firearm. In most cases, the ATF has specifically made a determination that the object is not “readily convertible” into a firearm and is therefore a non-gun.

Anti-gunners have long been against these homemade firearms and 80 percent frames/receivers, which they call “ghost guns” for their lack of traceability, and a few states have already banned them. We knew this would be a priority for a Biden administration but the ATF, just this week, raided the largest “80 percent” manufacturer, accusing them of unlawfully making and selling firearms despite giving permission to that company a few years ago.

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3. Banning Online Firearm and Ammunition Sales

Firearms and ammunition can be legally purchased online. This upsets anti-gunners.

A firearm, once purchased online, must follow the same rules as any other firearm transaction. A firearm may not be purchased from a gun dealer online and shipped straight to someone’s home. It must be shipped to a local gun dealer, where the customer must appear to fill out paperwork and satisfy background check requirements.

Ammunition, on the other hand, may be purchased online and shipped straight to someone’s home under federal law (some states restrict this).

Biden proposes to end all online firearm and ammunition sales, which would require customers to forgo the benefits of e-commerce they enjoy for almost every other product in their lives, such as competitive pricing and product availability.

4. Banning ‘Assault Weapons’

The anti-gun movement learned a few lessons from their previous federal “assault weapons” ban. First, their previous ban had a sunset provision that allowed the ban to expire in 2006. Second, the ban focused on cosmetic features of firearms.

Biden has explained in his gun-control proposal that a new ban will be tougher and not allow firearm manufacturers to circumvent it with “minor changes that don’t change a weapon’s lethality.” With that standard, we can only assume that he intends to permanently ban all semi-automatic rifles.

Currently, his proposal includes plans to either “buy back” currently owned “assault rifles” or require their registration under the National Firearms Act (NFA) with the payment of a $200 tax each.

5. Banning ‘High-Capacity’ Magazines

The Biden administration wants to ban detachable magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. This effort will likely be easier for them than banning “assault weapons,” as they’ll try to argue that they aren’t effecting a gun ban at all.

As with “assault weapons,” these will be outright banned and there will be an option to surrender magazines for money or register each magazine as an NFA firearm and pay a $200 tax each.

6. Universal Background Checks

Currently, background check requirements apply to all firearm transactions conducted through a federally licensed firearm dealer. However, under federal law, private party transactions in the same state may occur without a background check as long as the seller has no reason to believe that the recipient is a person prohibited from possessing a firearm.  For example, a friend may loan a firearm to another during a hunting trip.

Universal background checks place a government barrier around a fundamental right and will, in effect, create a national firearm registry in order for the government to enforce and verify current possession of a firearm.

Biden has already promised that he wants to take your guns and laid out plans to do so. With Democrats possibly poised to control all of Congress, expect them to follow through on these public promises.



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Trump calls Limbaugh ‘legend,’ in first TV interview since Senate trial

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Former President Trump on Wednesday afternoon praised the career of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who has died of cancer.

“He loved his country, and he loved his fans,” Trump said on the Fox News Channel. “He is a legend.”

The interview was Trump’s first since the conclusion of his Senate impeachment trial last week.

Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, announced her husband’s death earlier in the day on his radio show. He had been diagnosed about a year ago with Stage-IV lung cancer. He was 70.

The president also said he had a personal friendship with Limbaugh, who was an early supporter of his 2016 presidential bid and who, like Trump, thought the president won reelection in 2020.

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Trump also pointed out that Limbaugh was a provocateur in his views about conservative politics that often sparked backlash from liberals and other critics. 

Trump last year in his State of the Union address awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Rep. Bennie Thompson targets Trump, Giuliani, Proud Boys and Oath Keepers in Capitol riot lawsuit

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Rep. Bennie Thompson is targeting former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers in a suit alleging that they conspired to incite the violence that transpired at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the long-serving Mississippi Democrat by the NAACP and the Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll law firm claims that the defendants broke the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act by attempting to meddle in Congress’s certification of the Electoral College count, according to NPR.

“The insurrection at the Capitol was a direct, intended, and foreseeable result of the Defendants’ unlawful conspiracy,” the lawsuit claims. “It was instigated according to a common plan that the Defendants pursued since the election held in November 2020.”

According to the outlet, Thompson told reporters on Tuesday: “I am privileged to partner with the NAACP to have my day in court so that the perpetrators of putting members of Congress at risk can be held accountable.”

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Trump was acquitted on Saturday in his Senate impeachment trial in a 57-43 vote. While a majority of senators voted that the former commander-in-chief was guilty regarding the single article of impeachment that was passed by the House last month during Trump’s waning days in office, the 57 guilty votes failed to clear the two-thirds supermajority required to secure a conviction.

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Judicial Watch sues U.S. Capitol Police in pursuit of emails and videos pertaining to Jan. 6 riots

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Judicial Watch has lodged a lawsuit against the U.S. Capitol Police in an effort to obtain emails and videos pertaining to the riot that transpired Jan. 6 at the Capitol.

The watchdog organization said in a press release that it filed the suit under the common law right of access to public records following the Capitol Police declining to provide materials sought in a Jan. 21 request.

“The public has a right to know about how Congress handled security and what all the videos show of the US Capitol riot,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “What are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer trying to hide from the American people?”

The January request sought all video from within the U.S. Capitol during a nine-hour period on Jan. 6.

The request also sought “Email communications between the U.S. Capitol Police Executive Team and the Capitol Police Board concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021 through January 10, 2021,” according to Judicial Watch. The request also sought, “Email communications of the Capitol Police Board with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021 through January 10, 2021,” according to the watchdog group.

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The Capitol Police said in a Feb. 11 letter that the materials sought do not constitute “public records,” according to Judicial Watch.

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