A recent survey in Texas suggested that new gun owners are more likely to support former Vice President Joe Biden than President Donald Trump in this year’s election. There is little evidence to support this, particularly as polls have been so widely off the mark when it comes to support for President Trump and when it comes to gun ownership in general. In both instances, individuals may be more reluctant to share their political support or gun ownership status with strangers on the phone, due at least in part to a desire for privacy and a fear of the kind of shaming that is all too common in our society.
But let’s say this were true: that new gun owners, a large share of whom are women or minorities, are more likely to vote for Biden in November. Despite taking the step to exercise their Second Amendment rights and legally purchase a firearm, these individuals may be making their voting decisions based on a whole host of other policy issues. Protecting their newly-secured firearm and the freedom that allowed them to purchase it may not be something they have considered.
That is a mistake. Many new gun owners were surprised at just how difficult it is to purchase a firearm in their state. Any new owners who purchased their firearms at a retailer were required at a minimum to submit to an FBI background check and to abide by the federal prohibitions as well as a myriad of state and local regulations such as waiting periods or limits on what types of firearms they were allowed to purchase.
Under “President Biden,” these existing laws and regulations would be multiplied and expanded in an attempt to squeeze the right to bear arms out of existence. If he had his way, the most popular type of rifle – the Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) – would be banned, despite the fact the last time they were banned, crime didn’t go down. The MSRs that people already own would be “bought back” or forcibly registered under the onerous law that regulates items like fully-automatic machine guns.
The former vice president doesn’t think that you, as a gun owner, should be able to decide the amount of ammunition in your handgun, so your capacity would be arbitrarily limited according to what he thinks is appropriate. Forget about the fact that this limit will do nothing to keep your communities safe. He also doesn’t want you to be able to purchase your ammunition online, limiting your choices as a consumer.
He doesn’t think you should make the decision on the timing of purchasing firearms. He wants to make that decision for you and limit you to one gun a month, only after you get a license from your state to purchase it. And that one gun would have to be stored how he thinks is best for you and your household, regardless of your individual situation.
New gun owners, or those interested in protecting their rights to become gun owners if they so wish, need to be aware of the implications of voting for Biden in November. A vote for Biden is a vote against your Constitutional right to protect yourself, your loved ones and your property. It’s as simple as that.
Elizabeth McGuigan is Director of Legislative and Policy Research at the National Shooting Sports Foundation.