Biden set to issue EO on gun control

You may have thought that the pen Joe Biden uses to sign executive orders had run out of ink after the record-setting flood of EOs he signed upon taking office. But it appears that you would be incorrect. 

In a rare leak from inside the White House staff, we learned that Joe Biden plans to sign yet another order today, this one dealing with gun control. This is an area that’s typically left to the legislative branch and the president shouldn’t be able to significantly alter federal gun legislation with the stroke of a pen, but that apparently won’t stop Uncle Joe from trying. 

When the full details are revealed, however, it already sounds as if there will be much less meat on this order than those in the gun confiscation crowd might desire. 

From the Associated Press:

President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday aiming to increase the number of background checks to buy guns, promote better and more secure firearms storage and ensure U.S. law enforcement agencies are getting the most out of a bipartisan gun control law enacted last summer.

The Democratic president plans to unveil his latest efforts at curbing gun violence in a speech from Monterey Park, California, said a senior White House official, who discussed the order ahead of its signing on the condition of anonymity. In January, a gunman stormed a dance hall in the community near Los Angeles and shot 20 people, killing 11, following a Lunar New Year celebration.

Keep in mind that we’re hearing all of this from a single anonymous source who has “previewed the order.” It probably came from either Jeff Zients or someone he authorized to speak to reporters about it to build some early buzz. But early versions of such orders don’t always match the final release, so take everything in the linked report with at least a small grain of salt.

So what exactly will the order do? The leaked details are fairly vague, but if any leftists out there are hoping that Biden will ban “assault weapons” or authorize mass gun confiscations, you’re likely in for a lot of disappointment. Those things would be far beyond any president’s power and would be immediately locked down in the courts.

Instead, this order sounds more cosmetic in nature. He will reportedly order his cabinet to “work on a plan to better structure the government to support communities suffering from gun violence.” That could mean almost anything, but it sounds more like a plan to develop a plan, rather than an actual plan being put in place.

The source claims that the order will also direct the Attorney General to “shore up the rules for federally licensed gun dealers so they know they are required to do background checks as part of the license.” Seriously? Does he believe that there are actually gun dealers out there who are unaware that they have to run background checks? If there were, they’re probably already in jail by now. That part of the presumed order is essentially meaningless.

There’s also something in there about “better reporting of ballistics data from federal law enforcement.” But as the report notes, state and local law enforcement agencies aren’t required to report ballistics data dealing with matching shell casings to firearms. (A nightmare of a task.) So that probably won’t have much impact except on the FBI and other federal agencies. (Note to all IRS agents: Save your spent shell casings.)

All in all, Joe Biden is probably looking to shore up support from his base as we move deeper into the primary season. He has ticked off some of his own people by authorizing a new drilling project in Alaska and moving toward sending more migrants back to wait in Mexico after they are detained. His approval ratings are already worse than a skunk at a garden party and he really can’t afford to bleed off any more support from his base.

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