Will Biden be able to pass his crippling gun tax?

Assuming Joe Biden winds up being sworn in as the 46th president, he has a lot of promises to keep to his supporters. Many of them can still be found on his campaign website. One item that was barely even mentioned during the debates and Joe’s infrequent speeches during the general election race is his expansive plans to enact harsh new gun control measures. As the Free Beacon notes this week, Biden not only assured his liberal supporters that he would be engaging in some gun confiscation, but he would also impose steep taxes on those who retained possession of some of the “bad, scary-looking guns” and associated accessories. Given all that’s been going on lately, do you think he’s really even going to try?

American gun owners could face tens of billions of dollars in new taxes to keep the guns they already own under Democrat Joe Biden’s gun ban and tax plan.

At least 20 million rifles and 150 million ammunition magazines would be caught up in the sales ban and registration scheme Biden touted on the campaign trail, according to a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) report. The new taxes would cost Americans more than $34 billion, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis.

NSSF told the Washington Free Beacon the sheer number of affected guns and magazines could pose a significant problem for Biden’s gun-control plans.

Biden’s plan calls for the banning of new sales of AR-15 style, semiautomatic rifles and magazines that hold ten or more rounds. He would offer a voluntary “buy-back” plan for current gun owners, ignoring the fact that you can’t “buy back” something you never sold in the first place. But he doesn’t stop there. He would then create a national registry of all the bad people who own these types of firearms and impose a tax of $200 on those people for each item they possess.

Before getting to the question of whether Uncle Joe actually would or should do any of the, we should first consider the question of whether or not he really can. True, we’ve had an “assault rifle” ban in the past and I suppose we could again if Congress passed it. But can you impose a “tax” on people for legally owned property that they already paid taxes on when they purchased it? That sounds more like a fine or penalty to me.

And speaking of Congress, even if any or all of these measures somehow passed constitutional muster, the Democrats haven’t taken control of the Senate yet. And there’s a very good chance that they won’t. Do you honestly think that the Alpha Predator of Politics would allow a single one of those measures to come up for a vote in the upper chamber? Biden won’t be able to sign any bills like these if they never reach his desk.

And then there’s the political fallout to consider. We recently learned that public support for stricter gun control laws has fallen to a four-year low. Gun sales are currently setting records around the country and, as usual, those “assault rifles” are one of the hottest sellers. Even among survey respondents who are okay with more gun control laws, the majority want to increased background checks, not gun confiscation, bans, or taxes on existing property. A lot of the Democrats who managed to hang onto their seats in the House represent some marginal, purple districts. I’m not even sure Biden could get a plan like that through the House, to say nothing of the Senate.

He still might give it a try, though. That seems to be a fairly typical political trick these days. Don’t say much of anything about your less-popular plans until you’re actually in office and then try to ram it through to score points with your base. The other option, assuming Joe is keeping an eye on the polls, would be to make those promises to your base on the campaign trail but then shelve them once you get into office. What are the anti-gun liberals going to do about it? Threaten to vote Republican next time?

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Ed Morrissey 1:20 PM | July 17, 2024