Gun restrictions face uphill battle even under Biden
SAN DIEGO (AP) – The gun debate in America will soon enter a new chapter with a Democrat in the White House after four years under President Donald Trump in which gun control advocates developed a long wish list for reform amid a spate of large-scale mass killings in places like Las Vegas, El Paso and Parkland, Florida.
The items on the agenda — largely relegated to the political shelf in recent years — include renewing a ban on AR-style rifles, universal background checks, restrictions on high-capacity magazines and a federal red flag law designed to prevent people at risk of harming themselves or others from purchasing a firearm.
But virtually all of those will require Congress to act.
The most coveted piece of legislation by gun control advocates has been a renewal of the ban on “assault weapons” that expired in 2004. Biden played a central role in pushing through that decade-long ban, and he has pledged to push for another ban on the semiautomatic long guns that have only surged in popularity since their return to the market.
Much has changed since that ban was pushed through — from the political landscape to the saturation of those firearms in the civilian market.
In the years leading up to and following the ban, there were an estimated 8.5 million AR-platform rifles in circulation in the United States. Since the ban was lifted, the rifles — called “modern sporting rifles” by the industry — have only surged in popularity. The National Shooting Sports Foundation now estimates there are more than 17 million in circulation. And there are likely significantly more after this year, which consistently smashed monthly records for federal background checks.
The Executive Director of San Diego County Gun Owners, Michael Schwartz, joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss Biden Administration’s plans for gun owners and what that means for Californians.