If Democratic nominee Joe Biden is successful in his quest to become president next month, a major priority of his administration is likely to be gun control.
While many activists have called on the former vice president to use executive power to enact whatever measures possible, though he acknowledged the limits of that pursuit in a recent virtual meeting.
“You can’t do it by executive order”
As Breitbart noted, Biden was addressing leaders of various civil rights organizations when he confessed that he would lack the “executive authority” as president to ban “assault weapons.”
Some of those included in the conference call were reportedly focused on pressuring him to take drastic steps on gun control and other hot-button issues.
Pushing back ever so slightly, Biden reminded the group that he is “not going to exercise executive authority where it’s questioned,” telling proponents of an assault weapons ban that there is “no executive authority to do away with that.”
Nevertheless, he went on to tout his own record on the topic.
“No one’s fought harder to get rid of assault weapons than me, but you can’t do it by executive order,” Biden said. “You do that and the next guy comes along and says, ‘Well, guess what, by executive order … everybody can own machine guns again.”
“I’ll ban assault weapons”
In reality, it would take a long-shot act of Congress to constitutionally enforce such a bill. If the GOP maintains its majority in the U.S. Senate after next month’s Georgia runoff races, such a ban proposal would be even more unlikely to succeed.
Although he remained hesitant to fully embrace the anti-gun advocates’ proposals, he campaigned on promises to further regulate gun ownership in America.
In a tweet last month, Biden declared: “As president, I’ll ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, implement universal background checks, and enact other common-sense reforms to end our gun violence epidemic.”
The former vice president raised even more eyebrows by announcing that he would halt the manufacture of rifles in the style of the AR-15 and potentially invoke a hefty tax on owners of those that remain.
He has also signaled support for requiring the registration of and possibly even a tax on all “high-capacity magazines.”