In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper yesterday, President Joe Biden conceded that his son Hunter lied on a government form when he purchased a handgun in October 2018—a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. As his 2021 memoir recounts, Biden’s younger brother was an avid crack cocaine user. Beautiful Things. But he did not answer the following question on ATF form 4473: Are you an illegal user or addict to marijuana?
The week before, The Washington PostAccording to federal agents, they believe that there is enough evidence for Hunter Biden’s false statements. Although there was no evidence to support this claim, PostHe did not mention that the act of receiving or possessing the gun purchased by him was also a felony, and could have resulted in ten years imprisonment. In June, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Community Act into law, increasing the maximum sentence for this offense to fifteen years.
Biden doesn’t believe his son should be sent to prison because he lies about his private life or violated a federal law that prohibits him owning guns. I don’t either. If that were the case, then why would Biden support laws that permit it so enthusiastically?
These laws allow someone like Hunter Biden to be sentenced for years, or even decades, in federal prison. This conviction will also permanently ban him from having firearms. After being convicted, he can be retried for possession of firearms. He would then face up 15 years imprisonment. He would also be subject to all other lifelong consequences of his felony conviction.
Biden stated that his son “overcame” drug addiction and had created a “new life,” which would be difficult to disrupt if he was convicted of felony. Biden stated that he has great faith in his son. Biden said, “I love him and he is on the right and narrow. He has been doing that for quite some time now. He is a great man.
One might believe Hunter Biden would be aware of Hunter Biden violating federal gun laws for six months. However, his actions were not made public. His father was likely to have concerns about the severe penalties that such crimes carry. Contrary to popular belief, Hunter Biden’s violation of federal gun laws was made public by the President, who signed the Bipartisan Safety Communities Act. His administration actively defends the ban his son violated.
Even though cannabis users are allowed to use it recreationally or medicinally, the federal ban on gun possession for illegal drug users applies. The federally-licensed dealer has to complete the Form 4473. It warns consumers who purchase a gun from him that possession of marijuana is illegal.
One month later, April last year PoliticoThe bizarre incident in 2018 involving Hunter Biden’s illegally-owned.38 caliber revolver was described by the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried. She sued Biden, arguing the federal ban on medical marijuana users possessing firearms violates the Second Amendment. The Justice Department responded by arguing that the ban is “consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation”—the constitutional test established by the Supreme Court’s June 23 decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen.
According to the Justice Department, governments regularly arm groups they deem dangerous. This is true in both England and America. The Justice Department noted that “England disarmed Catholics between 17 and 18 centuries” and that “many American colonies banned Indians possessing firearms. In addition, the lawyers for government cited the history of prohibiting firearm possession in cases of convictions of certain offenses as well as state gun laws that were aimed at “alcoholics”, or “intoxicated” people. Their argument was that the effects of marijuana on judgement, cognition, physical coordination and other aspects make responsible gun ownership impossible.
Biden, who had previously rebutted Fried’s suit by stating that marijuana usage should not have been considered a crime when the Justice Department made its motion to dismiss Fried. Also, Biden had questioned the status of marijuana as a Schedule I drug. This is an allegedly reserved group for drugs that are highly addictive and have no approved medical uses. It cannot be safely used under doctor supervision.
Biden confirmed these positions last week. Biden granted a mass pardon to anyone convicted of marijuana possession in violation of the Controlled Substances Act and District of Columbia Code. Biden is not yet ready to endorse the elimination of federal marijuana prohibition. However, he declared that “it doesn’t make sense” to consider marijuana a Schedule I drug. He instructed Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra to start the review of how marijuana was classified under federal law. However, the Biden Administration maintains that cannabis purchasers who possess guns should be treated as felons.
It is difficult to understand how this position can be reconciled with Biden’s remarks about “our failed approach towards marijuana.” The president’s willingness to threaten gun-owners who use marijuana with severe prison sentences is not compatible with his more compassionate approach that he would advocate if his son were convicted for knowingly making false statements about the purchase or attempted acquisition of firearms.
David Weiss (the U.S. prosecutor for Delaware) hasn’t yet made a decision whether Hunter Biden will be charged with the crime. It is a rare case. “In the 2019 fiscal year, when Hunter Biden purchased his gun, federal prosecutors received 478 referrals for lying on Form 4473—and filed just 298 cases,” the Post reports. This paper makes a misleading comparison between those numbers and the 27 million background checks that were conducted over this period. The more pertinent question, however, is “how often referrals result in charges”, which according to the Post It was 62 per cent of the time during FY 2019.
False statements are sometimes discovered in many instances, which does not mean that a referral is made to criminal court. A 2004 report from the Justice Department’s inspector general noted that gun buyers who failed background checks before completing their purchases were almost never prosecuted. In 2002 and 2003 the FBI stopped 122,000 gun sales. This represented 0.7% of background checks. Only 154 of the would-be gun owners—0.1 percent—were prosecuted.
The 2016 office report found that the prosecution rate was even lower for subsequent years. The 2004 report stated that these cases were not eligible for a ‘jury appeal’ because of various factors. The report noted that “some factors that prohibit someone from owning a gun may be nonviolent, or have been committed over many years.”
Although prohibited individuals were permitted to purchase guns, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives did not consider it a priority to retrieve those firearms. In 2004, the report stated that retrieving guns was often delayed due to “ATF special agents not considering most prohibited persons who obtained firearms dangerous, and so did not regard it as a priority to get the firearm back promptly.”
This observation has many implications. Congress declared it an unacceptable threat to public safety that guns be allowed to certain people. This threat is supposedly serious enough to warrant felony charges or prison sentences. The agency that enforced the edict did not find most prohibited individuals who acquired guns dangerous.
The prohibited persons are illegal drug addicts like Hunter Biden and medical marijuana patients from Florida. They also include anyone who is convicted of any crime that could result in more than a year imprisonment, no matter how serious it is and without regard to how far back the incident occurred. Anyone with a history or court-ordered psychoiatric treatment. It doesn’t matter if he was considered a threat or not and regardless how long the time has passed. And anyone who lives in the United States without permission. The ATF’s assessment of gun buyers’ danger often differs from that reflected in federal law.
Not only are there many people caught lying about Form 4473 but also other cases in which such lies are overlooked, like the one that Hunter Biden had. Unlike a criminal or psychiatric record, illegal drug use that does not result in an arrest—i.e., nearly all illegal drug use—would not turn up in a background check.
Even though such laws on guns are not enforced often, it does not render them any less cruel. Contrary to popular belief, the lack of enforcement can lead to arbitrary consequences. This could mean that only a small number will suffer severe penalties for actions that others are able and willingly taking. Many Americans have been prohibited from possessing or buying guns. Many of these reasons are not related to violent tendencies. A small percentage will be charged with violating their Second Amendment rights.
Hunter Biden may be one. He will be exonerated of any prison sentence for violating the rights of anyone, but if so, it is unlikely. The same holds true for many others who have run afoul the father’s arbitrary gun restrictions.