October 09, 2020
NEWTOWN, Conn. – NSSF, the trade association for the firearm industry, is focusing on former Vice President Joe Biden’s radical antigun campaign promise to ban, register and confiscate the most popular selling centerfire rifles – the modern sporting rifle – sold in America today. Biden borrowed a page from the failed campaign of Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke to craft an agenda that would hobble Constitutionally-protected rights for law-abiding Americans.
“Joe Biden’s gun grab isn’t original, but is it is shockingly honest that they admit the end game. His campaign promise to confiscate guns rips the mask off the lie told by gun control for decades,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Yes, they are coming for your guns. The Biden-Harris campaign literally spelled out how they would do this and would violate their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, but instead destroy it.”
The Biden-Harris gun control agenda proposes to ban the sale and manufacture of modern sporting rifles, or what the campaign terms “assault rifles” or “weapons of war.” In fact, these firearms are just semiautomatic firearms that uses 100-year-old technology and have been sold commercially since the early 1960s. Semiautomatic firearms expend one round for each squeeze of the trigger, unlike the military’s automatic firearms that continue to fire automatically while the trigger is depressed. The Biden campaign is purposefully conflating the similar appearances of AR-15s and the military’s M-16 and M-4 rifles to confuse the American public.
Biden proposes that all 18 million-plus modern sporting rifles in circulation would be registered in the same onerous manner as automatic firearms and regulated under the 1934 Gun Control Act. That would require current owners to register these rifles with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), pay a $200 tax, submit fingerprints, photos, and complete duplicitous background checks for firearms they already passed a background check to purchase. They would also be subjected to random and unannounced ATF inspection of their firearm and would be registered in a federal watchlist of firearm owners. Further, permits regulated under the 1934 NFA are already backlogged by more than nine months.
The Biden campaign has a plan for those who would choose not to comply. Those individuals would be given two options: be forced to sell the property to the U.S. government using their own tax dollars to do so or face forcible confiscation by law enforcement authorities. Conservative estimates would require $9-18 billion of taxpayer funds to subsidize this gun confiscation scheme.
The Biden-Harris gun control plan would also ban the manufacture and sale of so-called “high capacity” magazines. His campaign website grossly compares hunting to the horrific murder of children, claiming the federal government protects ducks more than kids. This disgusting comparison is as wrong as it is appalling. Murder is illegal, plain and simple. The value of human life is undeniably greater than that of animals. That’s why the industry opposes these limits because in a moment of crisis when defending one’s own life, arbitrary magazine capacity limits put law-abiding Americans at a disadvantage to criminals who, by definition, disobey laws.
Modern sporting rifles are commonly and lawfully used for hunting, recreational and competitive target shooting and home defense. More than 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the first time in 2020, based on a NSSF retailer survey. Fully 40 percent of these new gun owners are women. The largest increase of any demographic is among African-Americans, which skyrocketed 58 percent over 2019. To date, more than 13.8 million background checks have been completed for the sale of a firearm, surpassing 2019’s full-year total of nearly 13.2 million.
NSSF strongly opposes these unconstitutional proposals of the Biden-Harris campaign and encourages all Americans to vote on Election Day to protect their Second Amendment rights.