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Tipsheet

Alarming Answer on Gun Confiscation Given at White House Briefing

When faced with a relatively easy question about President Joe Biden's position on gun confiscation policies, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wouldn't give a straight answer.

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Invoking repeatedly failed candidate Robert Francis O'Rourke's 2019 presidential debate promise that "hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," a reporter asked Jean-Pierre, "Does the president support not just banning the sale and manufacture of semi-automatic weapons but further than that, confiscation?"

It's a straightforward question: Does President Biden think legally owned firearms should be confiscated by the federal government? But Jean-Pierre wouldn't say "yes" or "no" in what should be an easy answer. 

Instead, Jean-Pierre ignored the question and retreated to the usual Democrat talking points about "weapons of war" that "should not be on the streets across the country in our communities, they should not be in schools, they should not be in grocery stores, they should not be in churches — that's what the president believes."

Jean-Pierre went on to claim Biden "has done more than any other president the first two years" to address what Democrats say is a crisis of "weapons of war" in America. "Now it's time for Congress to do the work," Jean-Pierre said. "And he's happy to sign, once that happens, he's happy to sign that legislation that says, 'ok we're going to remove assault weapons, we're going to have an assault weapons ban.'"

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Even though Karine Jean-Pierre wouldn't say whether Biden supports gun confiscation for "assault weapons," President Biden's record on the subject is not a winning one, nor is Democrats' obsession with eradicating "assault weapons" — a purposefully non-specific term usually paired with other buzzwords such as "military style" — a policy goal that's been shown to limit instances of violence in which the perpetrator uses a firearm. 

As we at Townhall have repeatedly noted, Biden's frequent claim that the "assault weapons" ban he worked on as a U.S. senator was effective just doesn't pass muster. Biden and his administration's claim that it's possible to get the specter of "assault weapons" off America's streets is one this administration employs frequently while attempting to take advantage of tragedies. "But according to data provided by the Department of Justice, the ban cannot be credited with reducing violence or mass shootings," Katie noted after Biden repeated the claim last May. Here's what the DOJ found:

A 2004 Department of Justice funded study from the University of Pennsylvania Center of Criminology concluded the ban cannot be credited with a decrease in violence carried out with firearms. The report is titled "An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003."

"We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence, based on indicators like the percentage of gun crimes resulting in death or the share of gunfire incidents resulting in injury," the summary of the report on the study's findings states. "The ban’s impact on gun violence is likely to be small at best, and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. AWs [assault weapons] were used in no more than 8% of gun crimes even before the ban."

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If banning "assault weapons" didn't reduce gun violence, nor reduce the lethality of gun violence, then passing a new ban or going as far as confiscating such firearms — something Karine Jean-Pierre wouldn't rule out this week — won't make a difference either and will only further infringe on the rights of Americans. 

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