Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

Opinion

Bernie Sanders Image NRA-ILA
Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Age, Image NRA-ILA

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- As anti-gun as the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have exposed themselves to be, much of the field still gives lip-service to the Second Amendment and the Constitution. Take for instance Joe Biden. The leading candidate’s campaign has said that Biden will seek to “respect the Second Amendment” and that “as president, Biden will pursue constitutional, common-sense gun safety policies.” However, take a critical look at the vast majority of the Democratic field for any limiting principle that would preclude even the most severe forms of gun control (like gun confiscation) and you will come up wanting.

To his credit, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has once again injected some much-needed sanity into a Democratic presidential primary. Speaking at a November 10 campaign rally in Charles City, Iowa, the candidate was asked about his opinion on a “mandatory buyback” (properly understood as confiscation) of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms like AR-15s. Sanders responded by stating, “I don’t support, a mandatory buyback is essentially confiscation, which I think is unconstitutional.” The senator went on to add, “It means that I am going to walk into your house and take something whether you like it or not. I don’t think that stands up to constitutional scrutiny.”

Unfortunately, Sanders’s moment of lucidity was brief. The candidate went on to express his support for the criminalization of private firearms transfers and a ban on the sale of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.

The senator also provided unwitting attendees with a misimpression of current law by suggesting an individual could “buy a dozen guns legally” and sell them to criminals without facing legal repercussions. Of course, 18 U.S.C. 922(d) makes it unlawful for “any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person” is prohibited from possessing firearms. A violation of this provision is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

However wrong Sanders might be about a slew of gun control measures, he is right about the confiscation of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.

In the landmark case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court concluded that the Second Amendment protected ownership of the type of firearms “in common use at the time” for “lawful purposes like self-defense.” The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that there are more than 16 million commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms possessed by law-abiding Americans. The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America, and therefore is in “common use.” Gun control advocates seem to agree that such semi-automatic rifles are common, considering they routinely complain about the “proliferation” of these firearms.

Heller opinion author Justice Antonin Scalia later reiterated the fact that the decision precluded bans on commonly-owned semi-automatics when he signed onto a dissent from denial of certiorari in the case of Friedman v. Highland Park. The dissent, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, couldn’t have been clearer:

Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.

Further, as Justice Brett Kavanaugh noted during his time on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a dissent in District of Columbia v. Heller, U.S. Supreme Court precedent required gun control measures to be scrutinized in the context of the Second Amendment’s “text, history, and tradition.” A confiscation effort the likes of which has been backed by several of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates has no validity when examined under this framework.

This wasn’t the first time Sanders has brought a measure of reason to a Democratic presidential primary. During a 2016 Democratic primary debate, Sanders was challenged on his vote for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The PLCAA was enacted to protect the firearms industry from frivolous lawsuits resulting from a third party’s criminal misuse of a firearm. The act codified long-standing principles of tort law.

During the debate, Sanders stated,

Well, this is what I say, if I understand it — and correct me if I’m wrong. If you go to a gun store and you legally purchase a gun, and then, three days later, if you go out and start killing people, is the point of this lawsuit to hold the gun shop owner or the manufacturer of that gun liable? If that is the point, I have to tell you I disagree…. what you’re really talking about is ending gun manufacturing in America. I don’t agree with that.

According to USA Today, the Senator later told reporters that permitting frivolous suits against the gun industry could result in “shutting down the entire industry.” Sanders added, “If Secretary Clinton’s position is that there should not be any more guns in America, fine… She should be honest and say that, because that is really what that means.”

Sanders is not a champion of gun rights. The senator merely appears to understand that there is some limit to the government’s power to trample upon the Constitutional rights of the American people. The fact that his comment stands out in the 2020 Democratic race is more a testament to his deranged opponents than his love of liberty. It’s a bizarre season when the “Democratic Socialist” is the most centrist Democratic presidential candidate on guns.


National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

About:

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

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Arny
Arny
1 year ago

So Bernie was the first to realize gun confiscation is a losing battle. I still don’t trust a liar.

Laddyboy
Laddyboy
1 year ago

Which woman on a syndicated tv show of 5 women stated: Don’t tell then you will confiscated guns while you are trying to be elected! GET VOTED IN. THEN pass a law and TAKE THE GUNS!!!!

tomcat
tomcat
1 year ago

This old communist has spent his whole life in service to a government he says is bad. Does that mean he has done the opposite of what his job was just to spite the people that keep electing him time after time. These people know what he is so why do they keep electing him, is Vermont not part of this country? I don’t know what saved him a few weeks ago when he had the big one but his time is past and never was. Hopefully, we won’t ever have a president Bernie.

Bill
Bill
1 year ago

A broken clock is absolutely accurate, twice per day?

Arizona Don
Arizona Don
1 year ago

My question is does Biden have enough of that common-sense? And does he really know what common sense gun safety policies are. But even beyond that what does he mean by gun safety policies. Registration followed by confiscation because we all know or should by now know the so called democrats goal is confiscation. What the so called democrats do not seem to realize is it is impossible to confiscate all guns in the United States of America. For those of you who do not agree I will explain why that is. Many older Americans know and are passing on… Read more »

StWayne
StWayne
1 year ago

The Constitution IS a God-given right, where it’s ordained that all men are created equal. That is, and until, we let them take it from us (see North Korea.) Don’t listen to anyone from the left and or Democratic Party, as part of their comeback plan is to say anything it takes to get back into office, I.E. power, where they will then have free reign to execute their plans. And old mother Hubbard, she went to the Constitutional cupboard, where it was not bare in there, but instead — full of hidden agendas rewritten to thrive everywhere!

Bill
Bill
1 year ago
Reply to  StWayne

Equality of all men in their creation is recognized (not ordained) in the Declaration of Independence. Along with having allegiance to the Founders and the amazing and excellent documents that they wrote, it is also good to read them and know them. Kudos for having the spirit of a patriot, in any event.

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
1 year ago

Democrats won’t be happy until they have us back at single shot muzzle loading rifles and pistols and then they’ll want to ban those.

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
1 year ago

Someone help me…if there were no “Constitution” would we still have the rights that Thomas Jefferson enumerated in the Founding Document, you know the right to life (which means the right to defend that life by WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY) the right to liberty (which means the right to defend that liberty by WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY) and the right to the pursuit of happiness (which means the right to defend that pursuit of happiness by WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY), and doesn’t defense mean to have ARMS? Which means that to have arms isn’t a constitutional right, but rather a NATURAL right. And… Read more »

Heed the Call-up
Heed the Call-up
1 year ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

Jefferson answered that question when he explained that our natural and inalienable right to self-defense, and therefore, our right to keep and bear arms, pre-exists the government of man; that even without this amendment *guaranteeing* our rights, we still have those rights.

John Locke expounded on Thomas Hobbes’ idea of natural rights, Jefferson enshrined them in our Constitution, and in his writings and speeches.

joefoam
joefoam
1 year ago

I have a hard time imagining this old codger as the leader of the free world.

Heed the Call-up
Heed the Call-up
1 year ago
Reply to  joefoam

Or even a Socialist version of this one.

Vern
Vern
1 year ago

A communist is still a communist, and that makes him an enemy of those who love their Republic and the freedom that goes with it including the second amendment and its big brother, the first amendment. Those who are for confiscation are enemies of freedom loving Americans who are law abiding citizens. Those who are for “red flag” laws back the politicizing of law enforcement and the weaponizing of law enforcement as well. While doing this they exempt criminals and gang members for what? possible use as their new order of law enforcement? The Russian mafia worked well for the… Read more »

Will Flatt
Will Flatt
1 year ago

I still refuse to pay heed to anything coming from NRA, they refuse to put our their HQ dumpster fire and fire Wayne.

AMMOLAND NEEDS TO STOP SHILLING FOR THEM BY POSTING THEIR PROPAGANDA.

Will Flatt
Will Flatt
1 year ago
Reply to  Will Flatt

“Oh wait, what’s this?” You said that and all I could hear was Mark Dice’s voice, LOL.
Good one!

Will Flatt
Will Flatt
1 year ago
Reply to  Will Flatt

@USA -ROFL!!

buzzsaw
buzzsaw
1 year ago

Any politician who says that he or she supports the Second Amendment and follows that statement with practically any sentence containing the word “but” is lying.

The Second Amendment refers to an absolute right, and does so in the language of absolutes: “…shall not be infringed.” Yet, here we are.

tetejaun
tetejaun
1 year ago

All ‘gun control laws’ are un-Constitutional: Article 6 states “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof…shall be the supreme law of the land”. Therefore, any federal or state legislative law, Executive Order or local decree not in 100% harmony with the U.S. Constitution, is null & void. When Americans obey the un-Constitutional ‘gun control laws’, they tell the tyrant they will accept any oppression and will accept those oppressions gladly. When Americans kneel and lick the hand of the tyrant (as they do when they obey un-Constitutional ‘gun control laws’), they… Read more »