President Joe Biden is calling on Congress to tighten laws regarding gun ownership in the country. On Feb. 14, he requested the third anniversary of the mass shooting at a Parkland high school in Florida.
The shootings left 17 people dead, including 14 students. The shooter, 22-year-old Nikolas Cruz, awaits trial and could potentially serve the death penalty. He had used an AR-15 rifle to commit the massacre.
“This Administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call. We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer. Today, I am calling on Congress to enact common sense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets,” the president said in a statement.
Biden said that he would defeat the (NRA)
During his campaign, Biden had declared that he would defeat the National Rifle Association (NRA). Biden has proposed to force people to give up certain types of guns or make them register with the federal government. Biden wants a ban on the sale of “assault weapons.” However, the term itself has no specific meaning, as any gun could be labeled as an “assault weapon.”
Biden wants to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that safeguards gun manufacturers from lawsuits. Without PLCAA, gun manufacturers could be liable every time someone uses a firearm for criminal purposes, such as murder. It is analogous to holding automobile manufacturers accountable when a driver harms someone in an accident.
Biden’s argument that the Parkland shooting could have been avoided with stricter gun laws is unfounded since the shooter legally obtained his gun. He passed the necessary background checks before being permitted to carry a firearm.
After the attack, a commission had recommended that teachers be allowed to carry firearms to avoid future tragedies. But Biden dismissed the possibility of using federal funds to train teachers to safely, effectively use firearms for defense.
Many states are preparing to counter Biden’s gun control laws when they come into effect. In Missouri, for example, the Republican majority House recently advanced a bill that will ban the enforcement of federal gun laws by police officers. Officers who cite federal gun laws will also be barred from taking away the guns.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Representative Jared Taylor, said that it is the lawmaker’s job to protect the Second Amendment rights of Missourians. They are committed to protecting those rights against an “out-of-control federal government.” If police departments employ officers who enforce federal gun laws, those officers can be fined up to $50,000 and face lawsuits.
Record gun sales
Gun sales in the United States hit record highs last month. January included the Capitol breach, much subsequent political tension, as well as the changing of presidents. Biden promised to crack down on gun ownership, likely also fueling the boom in gun purchases. According to data from the National Shooting Sports Federation, over two million firearms were sold last month. Only 1.2 million guns were sold in Jan. 2020. Analysts at Bespoke Market Intelligence said that the number of guns sold reflects the uncertainty that Americans feel.
Bespoke analysts wrote in their report:
“Obviously, January was a pretty hectic month, so it’s understandable that the pace of background checks was so high… While we would expect that pace to slow down in the months ahead, the way things have been in the last several months, who knows what the next several months will bring?”