Election day is less than a week away. This is the time to ensure the #GUNVOTE is heard at the ballot box.
More than 70 million Americans have already cast their ballot through early or mail-in voting. Campaign advertising is blanketing the airwaves and special interest groups, including gun control billionaire Michael Bloomberg, are pouring last-minute millions to nudge his agenda across the finish line.
Now, more than ever, American gun owners, including the over 6.2 million first-time gun buyers in 2020, need to plan to turn out to their polling place and vote to protect their rights. Who you vote for is your choice as an American. But, for me, voters have never faced a starker difference of what’s at stake. It’s a choice of preserving Second Amendment rights, gun ownership and the industry that provides the means to exercise those rights.
What’s at stake in this election? Nothing short of the Second Amendment, I told Outdoor Life’s Andrew McKean. This can’t be overstated. It’s not hyperbole or breathless crowing. It’s a fact.
What’s at Stake in this Election
President Donald Trump has fought, delivered and promised to continue to defend Second Amendment rights. This year alone, more than 15.4 million Americans purchased firearms, more than all of 2019 and within striking distance of surpassing the all-time record of 2016, when 15.7 million background checks were conducted for the sale of firearms.
In 2016, Americans rejected Hillary Clinton’s radical antigun agenda of re-enacting the failed 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and ramming through a national Universal Background Check law, which won’t work without a national firearm registry
The contrast is even greater this time. Former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) propose the most strident antigun agenda voters have ever seen. Among their proposals are the confiscation of nearly 20 million lawfully purchased (after a background check) modern sporting rifles that are in circulation today and a ban on the manufacture and sale of these popular rifles in the future.
Those who want to keep those rifles would be forced to register them with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) under the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA). That would require submission of photos, fingerprints, duplicate background checks and a $200 tax on the privilege of keeping what is already lawfully owned. It would also require a months-long waiting period to get that paperwork processed.
That’s not all. The Biden-Harris agenda includes banning standard magazines for both rifles and pistols – more than half of all magazines in existence. They’d institute a national one-gun-a-month gun rationing scheme.
There would be a mandated state-by-state licensing requirement just to be able to exercise the right to purchase a firearm. No other fundamental right requires a fee to exercise the right. They’d also have an unlimited window in which the government could delay a background check for a firearm purchase, putting gun buyers in a perpetual limbo.
Internet-based sales for firearms (which can only be transferred in person at a licensed dealer after a background check) and ammunition would go the way of the dodo, too. Along with them would be the sale of firearm parts that hobbyist and gunsmiths require to build and repair their own firearms. Those parts would be regulated as a completed firearm, requiring background checks for purchase.
So-called “red flag” laws that trample on Due Process and Second Amendment rights would proliferate. Federal law would mandate how gun owners must store their firearms in their home, taking away their right to decide which method works best for them. If a gun is lost or stolen, the Biden administration would punish that gun owner if it isn’t reported promptly, even if you didn’t know it was stolen.
Any gun bought under a Biden administration would be required to include so-called “smart gun” technology, that the National Institutes of Justice has already determined isn’t even ready for prototype testing. Biden also promised to confiscate firearms from Social Security beneficiaries if they use a fiduciary, or someone to assist them with their financial affairs.
Biden and Sen. Harris have also promised to weaponize the ATF against firearm retailers, threatening to shutter them for even a single minor administration inspection violation. They’d also repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to invite a new torrent of frivolous lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers for the crimes committed by individuals instead of holding the actual criminal responsible.
Don’t Risk Your Rights
To make sure his Second Amendment squelch sticks, Biden would upend the Judiciary. He’s flirting with packing the courts, restructuring lifetime appointments for federal judges to rotate them from court-to-court, all in an effort to stack the Judicial Branch with judges who will overlook the Constitution and put an end to gun ownership in America.
President Trump on the other hand has been the most pro-Second Amendment, pro-hunting and pro-industry president in the history of the United States.
The contrast is stark. The choice is yours. On Election Day, Don’t Risk Your Rights, #GUNVOTE.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.