President Biden’s recent speech on gun control was a flaccid attempt to appear firm on gun violence. Biden stated that he was taking 4 concrete steps without Congress to meet this goal.
Biden is attempting here to parrot what is already existing dogma. It seems he plans to guide BATFE classification of devices marketed as stabilizing braces (devices often critical for accessibility compliance) as NFA items as they could be used similarly to short barreled rifles. The current status quo is that any brace that is marketed to be used like a stock or that is deemed by the BATFE to be a stock is a stock and not a brace. Every legal pistol brace comes with a letter of ruling from the BATFE that the part is categorized as a brace and not a stock, thus not rendering the attached weapon as an SBR. What this executive action could do, if not accompanied by congressional changes to the NFA, is make pistol brace developers rebrand their marketing to acquire legal compliance if even that. This Executive action really only bolsters the held practice of evaluating each part to assure compliance with the NFA while introducing potential conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Biden is giving the Justice Department 30 days to come up with a proposed rule to regulate what he calls “ghost guns.” From the git-go americans have been able to manufacture firearms. Additionally there are few regulations which stymie education in gun manufacturing. How he hopes the Justice Dept. will limit these freedoms remains a mystery but this executive action is a great demonstration of the limits of pomp and circumstance one can apply to kicking a can down the road.
BATFE already publishes yearly reports on gun tracing. This vaguely worded action may mean specific analysis of weapons used in crime or weapons illicitly transferred. Who knows? While more data on its face seems good, one doesn’t need to be a statistician to know how data can be used or collected in a weaponized fashion. One thing we can be sure of is that this new task will require money to execute which means more funding for the police state.
While drafting this document has no policy effect (because it isn’t policy) red flag laws remain dangerous. Red flag laws allow the state to remove your rights without facing your accuser or even redress. While in effect, firearms owners (or really anyone) must realize that they are subject to a no-knock raid at any time, a practice that has been proven to be deadly. Not only do these policies represent a clear and present danger to law abiding civilians, it alarmingly allows individuals to make personally, politically or racially motivated complaints against individuals relying on the discretion of the state to cross check their veracity. In a political climate that has seen the assassination of BIPoC, leftists and civil rights leaders it’s highly forseeable that a law abiding civilian could be labelled an “antifa extremist” or “black-identity extremist” without merit then be subsequently raided, possibly being killed in the raid.