Joe Biden has big plans for gun control under his administration. He hasn’t been secretive about it either, it’s plastered all over his campaign website. In the last article, I talked about how he planned to implement another Assault Weapon Ban, like the one he co-authored in 1994. In this article, I will explain how much further he plans to take gun control. His gun control measures, if they are all implemented, will go further than Bill Clinton ever went, even further than Barack Obama ever went.
National Firearms Act
One of the pillars of Joe Biden’s gun control plan is to regulate the possession of existing assault rifles under the National Firearms Act (NFA). The NFA currently regulates the possession of automatic rifles, silencers, and short-barrelled rifles by requiring additional background checks and registration with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Regulating semi-automatic assault rifles under the NFA would also create a $200 tax every time you register, buy, or sell one. That is $200 for each assault rifle that you register. Because the NFA requires you to register your firearms with the government and pay a tax each time you buy or sell one, only a small percentage of gun owners ever own NFA items.
Once semi-automatic assault rifles are placed on the NFA list, everyone who currently owns them will be required to register them (and pay a $200 tax for each one owned.) The next step in Biden’s plan is to offer a government buyback program for assault rifles. The NFA combined with the buyback leaves gun owners with only two options (well, three really.) Either sell your assault rifles to the government or register them with the government and pay the taxes. Anyone who keeps their assault rifles and fails to register them will become a felon. The penalty for failing to register an NFA item is a fine of up to $250,000 or up to 10 years in prison or both. Gun owners have long been wary of registration efforts. Most feel that it’s nobody’s business how many guns they own. When a gun is purchased, every buyer goes through a background check by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. That background check includes sending them the model and the serial number of the gun you’re purchasing. However, the ATF has always claimed that this is not a registration and they do not track this information. A full-blown registration program would be much different.
High Capacity Magazines
Another example of how Biden’s gun control plan goes farther than any other president is his proposed ban on high capacity magazines. Currently, several states ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. California and New York immediately come to mind. Joe Biden’s plan is to place high capacity magazines on the NFA list as well. Take a minute to think about what that would mean. Not only would you be required to register every magazine that you own with the federal government (how? They aren’t serialized), but you would also be required to pay a $200 tax per magazine. That’s right, $200 per magazine. This presumably doesn’t just apply to assault rifle magazines, but also pistol magazines over 10 rounds, which includes magazines for many of the most popular handguns such as Glock, Smith & Wesson, and SIG Sauer. Again, failure to register every magazine you own would make you a felon and the penalty is a fine of up to $250,000 or 10 years in prison or both.
If I were in favor of gun control, I would feel that Biden’s plan is a very good one. His plan puts pressure on gun owners from several different angles, and slowly “tightens the noose”. First, you have to register your guns. Next, you have to pay a tax on each one. Next, you also have to do the same for your magazines. There’s also a buyback program if you don’t want to deal with the hassle this creates.
For those who say “Nobody is coming to my house to check and see how many guns I have”, you’re right, that probably won’t happen. Remember, however, that you did send the ATF your information when you purchased all of your guns. I would be interested to see how easily they can access all of that information. It would be hard for the ATF to say “Joe Smith owns 11 guns” because owners (up to this point) have not been required to register with the ATF when they sell a gun or lose one. It would be hard for the government to say “Joe Smith, prove to us that you don’t still own these guns” because you can’t prove a negative. I know a lot of gun owners who might be losing their guns in boating accidents in the coming weeks.