Biden on the 2nd Amendment: “No Amendment to the Constitution Is Absolute”

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"Gun Club" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Peretz Partensky

On Thursday, Biden made comments about the Second Amendment stating, “no amendment is absolute” while declaring that nothing he is recommending “impinges” on the Second Amendment. 

“Today, we’re taking steps to confront not just the gun crisis, but what is actually a public health crisis,” Biden said from the White House last Thursday.


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The President continued, “Nothing, nothing I am about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment,” naming arguments insinuating that those constitutional rights are at stake “phony.”

No amendment, no amendment to the Constitution is absolute. You can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded movie theater — recall freedom of speech. From the very beginning, you couldn’t own any weapon you wanted to own. From the very beginning that the Second Amendment existed, certain people weren’t allowed to have weapons,” Biden said.

The President also added that the idea is just “bizarre” to suggest that some of the things that the Biden administration is recommending are contrary to the U.S. Constitution. 

Biden then went on to call the gun violence in the country “an epidemic.” He said, “Let me say it again, gun violence in this country is an epidemic.” The President continued, “And it’s an international embarrassment.”

On Thursday, Biden announced a set of executive actions as well as legislative proposals on gun control. He also asked the Justice Department to propose a rule within a month to stop “ghost guns,” which he said are “kits” people can buy legally then fully assemble to create a functioning firearm that does not have a serial number. 

The President also asked the DOJ to propose a rule within 60 days on braces that are being used for handguns, stating that this makes them more accurate. He also proposed action on “community violence intervention” and asked the DOJ to publish suggestions for “red flag” legislation and to have his administration issued a report on gun trafficking. 

In addition to this, Biden also formally announced David Chipman as the new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). 

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“Vice President Harris Delivers Remarks to State Department Employees” (United States government work) by U.S. Department of State

On Wednesday, a senior administration official stated that Chipman would uphold the Second Amendment of the Constitution while he enforces gun laws.

Vice President Harris also said as she introduced Biden, “I’ve seen with my own two lives what a bullet can do to the human body … and I’ve fought my entire career to fight this violence and to pass reasonable gun safety measures.”

“What are we waiting for? Cause we aren’t waiting or a tragedy… We’ve had more tragedy than we can bear,” the Vice President said.

“The solutions exist… people on both sides of the aisle want action, real people … so all that is left is the will and the courage to act.” In addition to this, the Biden administration is also expected to push the gun control proposals in Congress. 

Meanwhile, Republicans have expressed their suspicion of Biden’s agenda that goes much further than what he announced last Thursday.

The President also announced that he supports the ban of assault weapons and voluntary buybacks of assault weapons. He also wanted to repeal a law that inhibits gun manufacturers from being sued for crimes people commit with guns and many more. 

In a statement by the National Rifle Association, they said, “By appointing the anti-gun Merrick Garland as attorney general and nominating David Chipman — formerly a senior staffer at the leading gun control lobby — to head ATF, Biden has made clear his sights are set on restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners while ignoring criminals and foregoing substantive measures that will actually keep Americans safe.”

“President Biden Delivers Remarks to State Department Employees” (United States government work) by U.S. Department of State

The NRA also added, “Further, the proposals Biden announced tonight could require law-abiding citizens to surrender the lawful property and enable states to expand gun confiscation orders. The NRA will fight this nomination and ill-conceived executive actions.”