The fundamental truth is that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms to protect themselves and their loved ones. But the Biden administration and congressional Democrats are once again taking aim at these rights within their first 100 days of taking power.
It’s important to remember why this right is so important. I come at this issue as a father, a husband, and as a federally-licensed gun store owner. First and foremost, I want my wife and kids to be able to defend themselves in a dangerous world. I find it outrageous that liberal Democrats would make it harder for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves against anyone who could do them harm. Firearms are, after all, the great equalizer. They help ensure that the strong do not prey upon the weak.
America’s founders spoke on this issue extensively. Benjamin Franklin warned that, “those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." He was right. The American tradition of self-reliance, self-determination, and self defense has been fierce. It’s been what makes this country so exceptional and so great.
This week, the House passed two bills that would undermine this right. The first was H.R. 8. It was sold as “universal background checks.” It would impose harsh penalties like six-figure fines and jail time for the simple act of handing a firearm to another person, even for temporary use. The exemptions under H.R. 8 are woefully inadequate to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners. For example, if you loan your firearm to a victim of domestic violence because their abuser is being released from jail; or if a suicidal friend asks you to take possession of their firearm; or if you loan your cousin your gun after a series of burglaries in the neighborhood. These new transfer penalties would turn law-abiding Americans into criminals.
House Democrats also passed H.R. 1446. This bill claims to close the so-called “Charleston Loophole,” by making retail gun stores wait 10 business days before completing a transfer instead of the current three day standard. The bill would also change existing law to mandate a may-issue transfer system for firearms. That would empower the FBI to indefinitely delay a purchase—even after the increased 10 day window has expired without a failed background check.
This delay adds additional levels of bureaucracy on citizens before they exercise their constitutional right to own firearms. Under current law, the government has the burden of proof to stop you from buying a firearm. Increasing the waiting period to 10 days—while giving the FBI veto power without due process—would reverse this standard. Imagine asking for federal permission before you exercised your right of free speech, free expression, or religious activity. That would be unacceptable and un-American.
What’s worse, both of these bills would not have prevented recent mass shooting tragedies across the nation. In those awful events, the criminals either passed a background check or stole their weapons.
Our founding fathers knew better, which is why they explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights that our freedom to keep and bear arms, “shall not be infringed,” and the Supreme Court affirmed this individual right in 2008. The Second Amendment is an indispensable constitutional safeguard in defense of every American’s individual liberty.
We must not sacrifice our rights by passing laws that criminals will ignore and will make our families less safe. We cannot punish good, honest Americans who have every right to protect themselves and their loved ones. With Democrat majorities in the House and Senate and Joe Biden in the White House, we must remain vigilant to protect and preserve our Constitutionally-guaranteed Second Amendment rights.