U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- President Joe Biden has doubled down on his claim that private individuals could not own certain types of firearms when the Constitution was ratified. In a press conference in New York City with new Mayor Eric Adams, Joe Biden repeated the claim: “You couldn’t buy a cannon when this (Second) Amendment was passed.”
Biden has made the same false claim at least once before in an interview with Wired from May 2020, Biden similarly stated:
“From the very beginning, you weren’t allowed to have certain weapons. You weren’t allowed to own a cannon during the revolutionary war as an individual.”
AmmoLand News was able to find the truth of this argument and as you expect, President Biden was wrong again.
The reality is that muskets, privateer ships, swivel guns, and cannons were owned and operated by private individuals throughout the Revolutionary War. In fact, one could argue that without individuals owning this military equipment that the war could very well have been lost.
In order for Biden’s claim to be validated in any way, you would need to have some form of law or de facto precedent that banned/prohibited the ownership of cannons by private individuals. While it is true the British did implement forms of gun confiscation in the years during the Revolution there is no mention of a ban on any type of cannon or firearm.
Below is a quote from an article written by David Kopel, Research Director of the Independence Institute, a public policy research organization, and a staunch defender of Second Amendment rights:
“…the British gun control program that precipitated the American Revolution: the 1774 import ban on firearms and gunpowder; the 1774-75 confiscations of firearms and gunpowder; and the use of violence to effectuate the confiscations. It was these events that changed a situation of political tension into a shooting war. Each of these British abuses provides insights into the scope of the modern Second Amendment.”
Even at the height of British gun control in Colonial America, nothing specifically prevented private individuals from owning a canon and there is very good reason for that: privateers. Civilian privateers had for years been employed by both the Crown and later the fledgling American government. At the height of the war, privateers were well equipped with cannons and muskets. These men were civilians, oftentimes equipping their private whaling, fishing, and cargo vessels with cannons purchased or plundered on the high seas.
Could you imagine telling privateers, “you can keep the plunder but no cannons!”
Verdict – False
Biden’s claimed, “You weren’t allowed to own a cannon during the revolutionary war as an individual.”
The Biden campaign (at the time) and his current administration have provided nothing to support this claim. Many respected historians and researchers have in fact refuted this claim already. Without evidence to support it and with more evidence showing that civilian ownership of cannons was perfectly legal it is obvious that Biden is unaware of this nation’s history.
AmmoLand rates this claim as FALSE.