Biden: From the Day It Was Passed, 2nd Amendment Limited Type of People Who Could Own a Gun, Type of Weapon You Could Own

By Melanie Arter | June 24, 2021 | 11:18am EDT
S President Joe Biden speaks about crime prevention, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 23, 2021. - President Biden unveiled new measures Wednesday to tackle gun violence against a backdrop of surging crime that his Republican rivals have seized on for weeks. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
S President Joe Biden speaks about crime prevention, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 23, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

( – President Joe Biden unveiled his plan on Wednesday to crack down on violent crime in major cities across the country, which includes “zero tolerance for gun dealers who willfully violate key existing laws and regulations.”

“If you willfully sell a gun to someone who is prohibited from possessing it, if you willfully fail to run a background check, if you willfully falsify a record, if you willfully fail to cooperate with the tracing requests or inspections, my message to you is this: We’ll find you, and we will seek your license to sell guns. We’ll make sure you can’t sell death and mayhem on our streets. It’s an outrage. It has to end, and we’ll end it. Period,” he said. 

Biden said that the “2nd Amendment, from the day it was passed, limited the type of people who could own a gun and what type of weapon you could own.”

“You couldn’t buy a cannon. Those who say the blood of lib- — ‘the blood of patriots,’ you know, and all the stuff about how we’re going to have to move against the government. Well, the tree of liberty is not watered with the blood of patriots. What’s happened is that there have never been — if you wanted or if you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons,” he said.
“The point is that there has always been the ability to limit — rationally limit the type of weapon that can be owned and who can own it,” the president said.

Biden said that “mayors have the power to help shape and enforce the laws in their cities, but they can’t control the laws in neighboring cities and states, even though the gun legally bought there … ends up in their streets.”

He cited his conversation with Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, who said “that 80 percent of the guns in Baltimore were acquired outside the city.”

“As part of our strategy, the Justice Department is creating five new strike forces to crack down on illegal gun trafficking in the corridors supplying weapons to cities like New York; Chicago; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; and the Bay Area,” Biden said.
“With these strike forces, local and federal law enforcement and prosecutors are going to be able to better coordinate the prosecution of illegal gun trafficking across city and state lines, so illegal guns sold from the back door of a gun shop in Virginia don’t end up at a murder scene in Baltimore, and if they do, then local and federal law enforcement can better coordinate to trace illegal gun sales back to the shady gun dealer and hold them accountable,” he said.

“Third, we discussed historic funding — we discussed historic funding for states, cities, and counties, and Tribes for law enforcement and crime prevention. You know, they’ve not only had to fight this pandemic, they’ve also had to deal with economic crisis that has decimated their budgets — forced them to cut essential services, including law enforcement and social services,” Biden said.

The president cited the American Rescue Plan, which was passed in the first 100 days of his administration, as providing “much-needed, historic relief to bring back those law enforcement jobs and social service jobs.”
“Much of this relief has already arrived. The rest is on its way, and we’re now providing more guidance on how they can use the $350 billion nationally that the American Rescue Plan has available to help reduce crime and address the root causes. For example, cities experiencing an increase in gun violence were able to use the American Rescue Plan dollars to hire police officers needed for community policing and to pay their overtime,” he said.

“Mayors will also be able to buy crime-fighting technologies, like gunshot detection systems, to better see and stop gun violence in their communities.  They can use the funding to scale up wraparound services for the residents as well, including substance abuse and mental health services that we know will make a difference in prevention of crime,” Biden added.  

Another part of his plan is “community violence intervention” programs, in which community members and leaders “work directly with people who are most likely to commit gun crimes or become victims of gun crimes.”  

He said that “these interrupters turn down the temperature,” stop the cycle of retaliation, and “connect people to social services, and it works.”

“Community violence intervention programs have shown a reduction in violence of up to 60 percent in many places,” the president said. 

Biden also announced that the White House will be working with 15 jurisdictions “from Baltimore to Baton Rouge and Memphis to Minneapolis — to build up their community violence intervention programs, starting this summer.”

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