Sixteen state attorneys general have signed a blistering letter to President Joe Biden, telling him in no uncertain terms they are ready to oppose any attempt by your Administration to trample on this fundamental constitutional right.”
The letter, dated Wednesday, was initiated by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen. It comes a week after Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, advising him Montana will not enforce the recent pistol brace rule announced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Gianforte reminded Garland about a law passed in Montana two years ago that prohibits enforcement of some federal gun control laws, as noted by the Tenth Amendment Center.
Knudsen is joined by colleagues in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
“According to your own CDC, Americans use guns to protect themselves and their families up to 3 million times per year, if not more—far more often than guns are used in crimes, and far, far more often than guns injure people,” Knudsen wrote. “The right to keep and bear arms in self-defense guards and protects the right to life, the first and most fundamental God-given right recognized in the Declaration of Independence. And, needless to say, your repeated attempts to deprive law-abiding Americans of guns that are in common and widespread use for self-defense are patently unconstitutional. We stand ready to oppose any attempt by your Administration to trample on this fundamental constitutional right.”
Knudsen, a Republican, is quickly earning a reputation for his defense of the Second Amendment. In his letter, he tells the president, “Anti-gun politicians like yourself use the misleading label of ‘assault weapon’ to scare Americans—expecting us to endorse your efforts to criminalize law-abiding gun owners. We also know that your personal definition of ‘assault weapons’ is staggeringly broad—encompassing all semiautomatic weapons—which are the most common and effective self-defense weapons in use today, employed by over 100 million Americans to defend their homes and families.
“Last November,” he reminded Biden, “in a moment of unscripted candor, you stated to reporters that ‘[t]he idea we still allow semiautomatic weapons to be purchased is sick. It’s just sick. It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single, solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers.’”
The five-page letter also calls Biden out for his claims that the ten-year ban on so-called “assault weapons,” which he championed while serving in the Senate, made a significant difference in violent crime.
“Your claim that the 1994 federal ‘assault weapon’ ban, which you supported in Congress, reduced mass shootings is also unsupportable,” the letter states. “Two different studies commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice—during the Clinton and Bush Administrations—found no discernible effect on violent crime from that legislation.”
A few lines later, Knudsen tells Biden, “And, needless to say, your repeated attempts to deprive law-abiding Americans of guns that are in common and widespread use for self-defense are patently unconstitutional. Just last term, ‘[d]rawing from this historical tradition,’ the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the Second Amendment protects “the carrying of weapons that are … ‘in common use at the time.’ Semiautomatic pistols and rifles ‘are indisputably in ‘common use’ for self-defense today.’ Indeed, semiautomatic handguns are ‘the quintessential self-defense weapon.’ There is ‘no justification for laws restricting the public carry of weapons that are unquestionably in common use today.’”
Knudsen and his fellow attorneys general aren’t the only ones giving Biden a hard time in recent days over his career-long crusade against Second Amendment rights.
In a statement to the media following Biden’s State of the Union address a week ago, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, blasted the president for pushing an “assault weapons” ban despite a new ABC News/Washington Post poll showing 51 percent of Americans oppose such a ban, which is a 10-point rise in opposition since 2019.
“This is such a dramatic shift in public opinion that not even Joe Biden and his speechwriters could claim not to have noticed,” Gottlieb observed at the time. “The White House pays attention to polling, so we can only conclude the president was hoping nobody would notice. Well, we did, and we’re calling him out. He can’t just sweep this new survey under the rug.
“Biden needs a bogey man cause,” Gottlieb added, “and guns have always been his favorite target. It’s easy to demonize firearms when you’ve got an establishment media to parrot, rather than challenge, anything you say because much, if not most, of the press is ignorant about guns and the millions of citizens who own them.”
Knudsen, a Montana native and outdoorsman who is a devoted shooter, concluded the letter stating, “In sum, the right to keep and bear arms is one of the most fundamental and deeply rooted liberties in our constitutional tradition. It guards and protects the most basic of all rights, the right to life, and it stands as a constant bulwark against tyranny. We stand ready to oppose any attempt by your Administration to trample on this fundamental constitutional right.”
About Dave Workman
Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.