March for Our Lives, the gun control group that spawned from the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Monday laid out a number of demands for the Biden administration.
“For years, Congress has failed to pass substantial changes to our nation’s gun laws, and thousands of Americans have died because of it. It has been three years since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that sparked our movement, yet countless Americans have suffered in communities due to daily gun violence since then," the organization's Executive Director Alexis Confer said in a statement. "It should not take another mass shooting to provoke a response. Young people have started a movement to fearlessly fight against the NRA and corrupt politicians, and they’ve delivered the Senate and the White House to politicians ready to save lives. It’s time to get to work, and young people demand a seat at the table – it is time for a national plan to stop the violence.”
According to the organization, President Joe Biden needs to take executive action on gun control during the first 100 days in office. They expect him to declare gun violence an epidemic, devote $1 billion to fund their cause, and create a new cabinet position known as the Director of Gun Violence Prevention.
Under this new position, March for Our Lives wants the director to appoint a "gun violence prevention task force" that works with the DOJ, FBI, ATF, HHS, CDC and NIH to "empower federal agencies that have been weakened by the gun lobby."
There are also a number of anti-Second Amendment policies and pieces of legislation they want to see Biden address via executive action:
- Near-universal background checks, requiring anyone who sells 5 or more guns per year to run a background check on all gun sales.
- Mandate and enforce license revocation for gun manufacturers and dealers who break the law.
- Closing the boyfriend loophole to prevent those convicted of domestic abuse from purchasing firearms.
- Reversal of President Trump’s dangerous change to the definition of “fugitive from justice.”
- Hold the gun industry accountable by directing the IRS to open an investigation into the tax-exempt nonprofit status of the NRA, and direct the FEC to investigate whether the NRA has broken campaign finance laws.
- Increase oversight of arms exports by shifting regulatory authority back to the State Department and/or ensure Congressional signoff.
The organization proposes using the Stafford Act, which is typically used for natural disasters and emergencies, to provide funding. The money, the group says, can then be funneled to governors that request funding for "community intervention programming and data collection with a public health lens."
March for Our Lives wants the Biden administration to then pledge to provide a minimum of $37 million annually for "federal firearm injury research" that involves kids.
What's the problem?
There are quite a few issues with the demands March for Our Lives is making, the biggest one being the constitutional issues surrounding infringing on the Second Amendment.
The proposals they have don't actually change or address so-called "gun violence." Universal background checks mean a background check needs to take place every single time a firearm changes possession. That means if I want to visit a friend in another state, go hunting with him and borrow his rifle, we would both have to undergo background checks. Otherwise, we would be considered criminals. The same thing applies for a domestic violence survivor who fears for her life. If her father lets her borrow a gun until she can purchase her own, they would have to go through background checks.
The entire reason ATF exists is to keep gun manufacturers and federal firearms licensees (FFLs) compliant with state and federal laws. Those FFLs who break that law lose their license. It's already a law. You can't make something even more illegal than it already is.
And if March for Our Lives wants to be taken seriously about what the "gun lobby" includes, they would know that the NRA is made up of more than five million gun owners. The actual group for firearms manufacturers is the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). But we all know they throw something about the NRA into their demands so they look well-informed and educated about firearms legislation and policies.
It's not surprising, sadly, that this group is calling for something to be done in the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration. Biden used the "first 100 days" and the Parkland anniversary to call on Congress to push for stricter gun control laws. Biden and Harris both have track records of proposing legislation that would infringe on Americans' rights to keep and bear arms. And Harris promised (during her failed attempt to run for president) that she would sign an executive order if Congress didn't tackle gun control within the first 100 days. it wouldn't be all that surprising if Biden follows up on her campaign promise.