You’ll recall that in the October 2020 issue, I cut-and-pasted almost all of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s gun-regulation plans listed on his website, with the points running under the rubric of “The Biden Plan To End Our Gun Violence Epidemic.” Now, with President Joe Biden sworn in and signing dozens of Executive Orders in his first week, I have no doubt that Gun Tests readers who enjoy firearms are going to get new gun-purchase, gun-possession, ammo-purchase, and many other regulations very soon. The only question is, where will President Biden start?
The not-well-known Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), a super-vigilant pro-guns group based in California, thinks the first attack on our 2nd Amendment rights might come from an unexpected angle.
In a January 11, 2021 blog post, FPC said, “According to Joe Biden’s gun control plan, ‘we have the technology to allow only authorized users to fire a gun.’ Sure we do, theoretically, but none of those firearms are currently being mass-manufactured. According to Biden, the reason why these guns aren’t being mass-produced is because ‘the NRA and gun manufacturers are bullying firearms dealers who try to sell these guns.’ Biden’s plan is to ‘issue a call to action for gun manufacturers, dealers, and other public and private entities to take steps to accelerate our transition to smart guns,’ with Biden’s goal being a 100% conversion of all firearms sales to smart-gun sales.”
FPC continued, “Smart gun locks rely on basic electronics like RFID, fingerprint recognition, and magnetic locks. There are numerous ways to interfere with this technology. For example, $15 worth of magnets can be used to bypass some smart guns, while others can have their safety-disengagement mechanisms blocked by bad guys and eventually, government agents, disarming the owner by rendering the gun useless.
“Then there is also the cost,” FPC said. “One of the most prominent smart guns is the Armatix iP1, clocked in with a price tag of $1,798 to $1,399 for the pistol and $399 for the required watch. The iP1 is more than three times more expensive than the ubiquitous Glock 17 (starting at $499). If individuals were all compelled to switch to this technology, it would prevent working-class people from being able to buy a firearm.”
Perhaps FPC is correct, perhaps not. But dictating smart-gun regs are as bad a place as any to start. Smart-gun locking technology is easily defeated, the tech can be weaponized against owners (that is, turned off remotely because LE would always have a back door or kill switch, however you want to look at it), and is priced so that working-class people cannot purchase a high-tech high-cost firearm for self-defense.
President Joe “fire two blasts outside the house” Biden has a long history of anti-gun-rights statements and policies, and he will be unconstrained in passing them with the Democrats in control of both houses of Congress. Current gun owners and prospective new gun owners are about to get at least two years of bad news. Maybe four. Heck, maybe eight.
What do you think will be the first salvo fired at our 2A rights? Let me hear your thoughts here.
Concerning your editorial in the March 2021 Downrange: I must disagree with your assertion that ‘smart guns’ will be the first salvo fired at the 2nd amendment. The most prolific and easiest thing Democrats employ has historically been to impose new taxes. By mandating crippling taxes on firearms and ammunition the use of existing arms and future purchases will for all intents and purposes stymie the shooting sports. I addition the taxing and registration of any firearms purchased (just as automobiles are now) would give second thought to those considering new purchases. Radical anti-gunners and rabid taxers are running the current administration. The next four years will be a shredding of our Constitution and it’s amendments.
It’s fairly predictable for a guns website to write editorials about “those scary Democrats” and regulations, and I’m fine with it. I’d just offer a sanity check, as I live in New York state, ruled by Democratic supermajorities in both houses of our legislature as well as a Democratic Governor (for now). As a centrist, I didn’t vote for any of them. Can you imagine a more scary place to live for the average guns enthusiast?
And yet here I sit in my Remington-hung office with my many rifles, none of which I had to register with the state or my locality. I don’t hunt with an AR-15, but I also don’t like looking like an idiot to begin with (on the other hand though I only hunt my own land and nobody but trespassers will ever see me). I like hunting with an actual… hunting rifle… imagine that! And no “New York liberal” Democrat has ever bothered me or my several .338 Remington Ultra Magnum guns. Gun laws are by and large state law, and even in the most liberal state I’m doing just fine, thank you very much.
I voted for Biden in 2020 and I’ll proudly vote for him again in 2024 as Republicans swing further and further to the extreme right. I don’t really support tons of gun control, but it’s hardly my first issue when I vote for President. And in my previous state (Virginia) I was able to buy a gun from a private party at a local gun show without a background check. That’s the type of gun control (rigid background checks) we all need more of, especially since my home state had a mass shooting where a certifiably insane person was able to obtain guns and 33 people died because of it.
The 2nd Amendment “rights” (the precise extent of which can be widely debated at the state level) are just one political issue and hardly the only political issue. Climate change is a reality, and sooner or later our game and ourselves will be under threat from a depleted ecosystem. Despite being a gun enthusiast I’m a one-issue voter (on climate!) until Republicans start taking science and the future of our home more seriously.
Just my 2 cents!