They’re Coming for Your Guns
Analyzing The Democratic Party’s Gun Control Platform
With presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s recent announcement of Kamala Harris as his running mate, and the Democratic National Convention in full swing, now seems the perfect time to take a closer look at the recently released 2020 Democratic Party Platform on gun control.
What is immediately clear is the days of “we’re not coming for your guns” are long over. This platform, if adopted, means a lot more federal gun control and a lot more incentives for states to pass even more restrictive measures. It would also amount to a giant leap towards an eventual complete prohibition and/or confiscation.
Here are some of the “highlights” of the platform and what those positions really mean for you and your natural right to self-defense.
What they say: “Democrats will enact universal background checks…”
While this has long been a gun control tagline, universal background checks will do nothing to stop violent criminals from buying firearms. “Universal background checks” really means that if you want to pass your father’s shotgun down to your own child, you will have to go to a federally licensed dealer and ask the federal government’s permission to do so. Want to gift a gun to your spouse, or to a longtime friend? Same thing.
This won’t stop criminals from getting guns, but it will allow the federal government to nose its way into your private business.
Some states have already enacted similar laws (and we can all see how “effective” they have been in California), but many others have refused to do so. Those states won’t have that option if the Democratic Party has its way and federally mandates background checks on all transfers. Every interfamily and private transfer or sale will be federally monitored. And it won’t be a big step for those transfers to eventually be recorded.
In so many other instances we have recognized that the government has no place in our private lives—from the church to the bedroom—but for the Democratic Party, that doesn’t seem to apply to guns. Regulating the transfer of a shotgun from a father to a daughter is about as far away from the federal government’s power (and business) as you can get.
The goal here is simple—make it more difficult to buy guns. If they make it more difficult to legally buy guns it makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutionally protected rights and it will drive more people to the illegal market.
What they say: “Democrats will…end online sales of guns and ammunition…”
This is the least thought out of the proposed policies. As many of you know, online gun sales are legally required to be sent to a federal firearms licensee for pickup, not to the individual purchaser’s address. The purchaser then must go pick up the firearm from the dealer and complete the already-federally mandated background check.
Ending online sales of firearms does absolutely nothing except make it much more difficult for law-abiding citizens to exercise their rights by limiting who individuals can buy from. But then again, that seems to be the goal.
And it’s no different when it comes to ammunition. While some states already (unconstitutionally) regulate the sale and purchase of ammunition, in most states you can buy just about whatever you want, whenever you want. Ending online sales won’t stop someone from going to their local sporting goods store and buying a thousand rounds if they want.
All the online sales ban would do is make it more difficult and more expensive for individuals to purchase the quantity and type of ammo they want. Stores will have to stock more varieties and a greater quantity of ammunition to meet market demand, increasing the cost of business and the price for consumers.
Yet again, this prohibition is all about erecting a roadblock in the way of you exercising your individual, natural, constitutionally protected rights. It’s not about “safety” or “common sense.”
What they say: “Democrats will ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.”
And now we’re back to made up terms. I won’t belabor the point that there is no federally-recognized (or even consistently state-recognized) definition of an “assault weapon” or “high-capacity magazine.” I’ll even skip over the fact that the semi-automatic platform is demonized simply because of its appearance and its effective employment as a self-defense tool, not because of any actual data.
What is clear here is this: If the government successfully bans the manufacture and sale of semi-automatic rifles and standard-capacity magazines, the next step will be to destroy the market wholesale. As we’ve seen play out in a number of states, once the government bans the manufacture and sale, they’ll then seek to enact further restrictions on ownership.
The difference between what the Democratic Party is seeking to do now, versus the Clinton-era “assault weapons” ban, is insidious. By relating this position to the previously enacted law, they claim they have the power to pass the newly drafted version, all under the guise of “we’ve done this before.” The difference? This one won’t expire.
The Clinton-era ban had a “sunset provision,” meaning it automatically expired after 10 years if it wasn’t renewed by Congress. It wasn’t. But the new proposal won’t give a future Congress that chance.
Without a sunset provision, the law would not only completely ban making and selling some of the most popular rifles and magazines in the United States, it would be a giant leap forward in the effort to regulate these weapons and magazines out of existence—and that’s the ultimate goal.
What they say: Democrats “will incentivize states to enact licensing requirements for owning firearms and ‘red flag’ laws…”
This may be the most dangerous of the proposed measures. Essentially, the party will seek to push additional federal funding to states that buy into the party platform and enact increasingly restrictive gun control measures. Basically, you pass gun control measures, you get federal tax dollars. Do not pass go. Collect $200.
The problem is that the courts have generally held Congress’s tax and spend power to be quite broad, regardless of the original meaning within the Constitution. Banning semi-automatic rifles and standard-capacity magazines will likely garner the most attention, but this policy is the one we should be most concerned about. Money drives change, and our money shouldn’t be spent on incentivizing and creating unconstitutional laws.
* * *
While there is much more to the platform, there is an insidious character that quickly becomes apparent. The party platform seeks to build on, and at times even parrot, long-running gun control narratives. But in reality, each of the measures is designed to make it increasingly more difficult for law-abiding Americans to buy, own, use, and sell firearms, magazines, and ammunition.
Each proposed measure seeks to fundamentally alter, and even end, gun ownership as we know it. What is abundantly clear is if the party succeeds in passing each of these proposed measures, the next logical step, based on party statements and what we’ve seen from the gun control movement in various states, is prohibition and/or confiscation.
This isn’t about “safety” or “common sense” anymore. This is about making it increasingly more difficult to be a gun owner, until they can make it impossible to be a gun owner.
The fight to defend the Republic and every American’s natural right to self-defense is far from over.
Cody J. Wisniewski (@TheWizardofLawz) is an attorney with Mountain States Legal Foundation. He primarily focuses on Second Amendment issues but is happy so long as he is reminding the government of its enumerated powers and constitutional restrictions.
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From my cold dead hand
They won’t come to your house and get them. They will just pass a law making them illegal so that you can’t sell them and if you use them or are found with them in your possession they will charge you with possession of an illegal firearm and stick you in jail for a long time.
Whether or not the law expressly states that, that will likely be the effect. That also means that, when you shoot up your ammo, you’re done. So no teaching the next generation to shoot.
My family has plenty of .22 LR for training purposes, as well as harvesting pot meat. That way we don’t have to get into the 5.56, 7.62×39, and shotgun fodder to any great extent.
To answer Robert A. Heinlein’s question, my family and I are among The Heirs of Patrick Henry, as are all of our real friends! (And I imagine most of the regular readers of Legal Insurrection.)
And they’ll have plenty of room in prison since they’re releasing all the criminals!
It’s stuff like this that could cause a civil war. People aren’t going to give up their arms. They will use them to wage guerrilla war against the progressive fascist tyrants.
Correct,the next civil/revolutionary war won’t be north versus south but rather Americans versus Marxist’s,it’s coming, keep your powder dry.
I don’t think that most gun owners are going to support this. Lots of gun owning voters in key states; PA, CO, MI, MN etc.
Come and take it
Yep, Biden’s coming for your guns, just like Obama before him.
If Biden did it personally… that would be great. He’d get lost, forget what he was doing and Dr. Jill would have to use GPS to find him.
If you tax and restrict a Right hard enough it becomes a “privilege” especially of the wealthy and then through class envy eliminated. In the arguments before the 9th circuit, California considered a single shot firearm as a lawful endpoint to banning magazines. As long as you are limited to one bullet (or limited to one word?) everything is Constitutional for the Left.
All of my guns fell in the drink while I was out fishing. There’s nothing left to register or confiscate.
It won’t work that way. Someone will “red flag” you — SWAT will break down your door at 0400, tear your house apart looking for “illegal” weapons, and shoot you if you resist.
All these laws and proposed laws are part of of a carefully devised plan to make gun ownership as difficult and expensive as possible, reduce the numbers of legal gun owners as much as possible, and criminalize the rest so they can “legally” use force to do whatever they like.
It depends on who your sheriff is.
You need to elect one that supports the 2nd Amendment enough to open is range up to civilians at least one day a month.
Some firearm/ammunition distributors will simply not do business in California based on the draconian laws the state has implemented. This is how democrats would likely “ban” firearms and ammunition nationwide, through lawfare. We may have turned a corner with all the PDJT judicial appointments though:
Hey, our antifa and blm friends have shown the way. Obeying laws is OPTIONAL! Want to transfer your gun to somebody? Do it. Unless you registered it somehow, good luck Kalifornicators, how do they know you didn’t sell it at a gun show? No on-line ammo sales? Well, stock up now if you can find any. Cops of BATFAGS knock on your door? I don’t have any semi-autos or “high capacity” mags. Mind if we look? Yeah. You got a warrant? If not, shut the door. The communists keep forgetting that gun owners out number police and military by about 100 to 1. They best pray the cops protect the communists from the rest of us.
Sorry, should read “Cops or BATFAGS”
This might have had a chance of working before 70+ days of Portland. But, the fact that the communist/anarchist wing is running amuck has sunk any immediate chance of that happening. Will the liberal Progressive Dems stop trying to ban firearms for law abiding people? Nope. The problem with an armed citizenry is that they are, by definition, uncontrollable by elected officials. In fact, an armed citizenry maintains its control of its elected officials.
That’s exactly what our Founders intended.
Heck even the founding mothers would have already made short work of our current traitors imo.
I still suspect a armed insurrection will be needed to settle this unConstitutional BS and make our Komrades on the Left understand that Howard Beal was right: “We’re mad as Hell, and we’re not going to this any more!”
He said as he adjusted his mask and checked his social distancing. Don’t tell me that this nation of sheep who would allow petty bureaucrats to shut down their businesses and destroy their jobs over a rhinovirus is going to do anything serious about gun control. The left has already crossed too many lines in the sand to worry about the next line.
Every bit of their pitch comes down to inflicting their preferences on others who don’t agree.
Kamala-extract is a happy authoritarian. Her positions are consistent, in exerting authoritah, and patronizing folks in pursuit of power thru the levers of govt.
Der BidenGaffer never met a grift he didn’t like.
The party offers a smaller taste of the same to their minions – the frission of authoritah inflicted on others, n grifts off the operations. The figureheads get conferences in Davos, while their postal union minions get a couple-dollar raise.
Pretty sure they’ve already fired up gun owners with that ugly ny commie saying she’s taking the NRA to court to dismantle the organization.
While I’d agree we need new leadership and a house cleaning from top to bottom, her speech isn’t going to garner any gun owners to vote democrat. If anything it’ll energize the ones who never show up and vote.
You POS can have them ONE cartridge AT a time.
Hmmmm. They want to defund the police, downgrade felonies into misdemeanors, decriminalize many crimes such as stealing anything under $1000 in value, eliminate bail for all but the most heinous crimes, reduce jail sentences, provide for early releases from prison, and so much more. Now they are demanding more gun control with the clear objective of making gun ownership illegal. Am I seeing a trend here?
The British tried this. We shot them.
“And it won’t be a big step for those transfers to eventually be recorded.”
It won’t be a big step, it will absolutely be a necessary step. Without universal gun (and gun owner) registration actual enforcement of so-called Universal Background Checks is impossible.
How long after passage of their wished for Federal Universal Background Check law it will be may be open to question, but there is not an iota of doubt that the next thing will be complaints about failure to be able to enforce their “universal” system without knowing precisely who has exactly which firearms.
Universal or other background checks, just to have a Constitutional Right are “guilty until proven innocent” and therefore unconstitutional!
Yield no ground!
Naturally they want gun confiscation, you can’t get away with a Communist revolution if the People are armed.
Most now tolerate background checks but universal background checks are unacceptable. The primary problem for democrats today is nobody trusts them. Historically, they pass a small innocuous looking law and a year later, add a phrase or a date or some other seemingly harmless item.
SloJo and Commielaw have big hurdles and the first one is to be elected. Not gonna’ happen. If by some skulduggery, they are elected, arms owners will ignore them as they did the prior administration. Universal background check laws sound good but criminals don’t ask permission. The consequence is one group suffers the brunt of these laws.
Universal background check laws would severely punish tens of millions of mourning widows who failed to run background checks on those who were promised their dead husbands’ firearms. Usually, those would be their children. It’s much reminiscent of Canada’s disastrous long gun registry.
I’ve always wondered how the democrats hope to enforce such laws. And it always comes back to the notion of universal registration, a practice already forbidden by the Supreme Court. The worst of this democrat plank is it won’t save lives or reduce crime because lawful citizens are the only ones affected. Nobody will comply.
But clearly, none of this democrat hysteria is justified and it won’t help them. Universal background check laws are again being trumpeted to hoodwink owners with Bloomberg’s rhetoric. Democrats hope owners won’t read his 2018 data because it reveals firearm homicides declined seven percent and injuries declined 10 percent. Fatal child shootings (under 18) declined 12 percent and unintentional shootings plummeted 21 percent.
They don’t want anyone to know that half the nation’s murders occur in only 63 counties (2% of the total) while the other half are spread across the other 3,081 counties. Said another way, 15 percent had one murder and 54 percent of the nation’s counties had no murders at all. Law enforcement nationwide should form teams and focus on those 63 counties.
What they really want is to register transfers between mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors. They’re after inheritances, bequeathals, gifts and sales of inherited collections, however small they are. Even if you exempt family members now, never doubt that the democrats soon will add them. Bottom line is democrats want to choose those who are allowed to own firearms.
A transfer includes selling, giving, lending, returning, renting, or simply handing a firearm to another person or any action that causes a firearm to be transferred from one law-abiding person to another law-abiding person. The recent notion of “stranger-to-stranger” sales would only be effective if outlaws suddenly began asking the government’s permission to buy guns.
But amid all this high hysteria, democrats ignore and hope we won’t notice the fact that all the major crime indicators are trending downward. Bloomberg wants everyone to believe the nation is in crisis, suffering an epidemic, but folks, there is no crisis, no epidemic. They don’t want to admit that it’s OK for government to declare victory and watch the crime rates decline.
Background checks and government permission for 2nd Amendment transactions, but guaranteed privacy for the imaginary right of getting an abortion. A gun you buy has very little chance of killing anyone, but 100% of the time somebody dies in an abortion.