Vice President Biden Has Spent a Lifetime Fighting to Protect Americans from Gun Violence and Taking on the NRA; President Trump Refuses to Take Action on Gun Safety, Putting the NRA Ahead of Americans’ Safety
Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown, commented on the beginning of the general election between Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.
“While Donald Trump has refused to take meaningful action on gun safety, more Americans have been killed by gun violence than were killed in the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam wars––combined,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “For voters who want to keep their families safe, the clear choice is Joe Biden, who has been taking on the NRA, and winning, for decades.”
“Whether it’s coronavirus or gun violence, one thing is certain: Donald Trump will put profits over public safety,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “There’s no question that Joe Biden is the right choice for President, and Moms Demand Action volunteers will organize, mobilize, and fight like hell to elect him in November.”
When it comes to gun safety, the right choice between VP Biden and President Trump couldn’t be more clear. Let’s break down their gun safety records to show why Everytown for Gun Safety has proudly endorsed VP Biden to be the next President of the United States.
Here are five ways Vice President Biden has proven himself a gun sense champion:
- He wrote and championed the Violence Against Women Act: Gun violence is inextricably tied to domestic abuse, and Biden took crucial steps to address this uniquely American crisis when he passed the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. He also supports the bipartisan, House-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, which would strengthen federal law by closing the deadly “boyfriend loophole.”
- He helped pass the bill that established the National Instant Criminal Background Check System: In 1993, Biden beat the NRA by passing the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which “established the background check system that has since kept more than [3.5] million firearms out of dangerous hands.”
- He voted against giving legal immunity to the gun industry (PLCAA: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act): In 2005, Biden voted against PLCAA –– a gun-lobby bill that passed through Congress, giving the gun industry unique legal immunity from most lawsuits. Biden was right to vote against this disastrous bill, which has since enabled reckless, negligent, and outright dangerous practices by the gun industry that have cost American lives.
- He helped secure a 10-year ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines: In 1994, Biden beat the NRA again by working with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to pass 10-year bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
- He pledged to take swift action on gun safety if elected president: As a candidate, Biden has put forward an excellent plan to end gun violence, consistently raised the issue in debates, and pledged to act on gun safety within the first 100 days of his administration.
And here are six ways President Trump has failed to keep the American people safe from gun violence:
- He promised to veto legislation to require background checks on all gun sales: More than a year ago, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 8––a bill to require background checks on all gun sales––with support from 93 percent of American voters and a bipartisan coalition in Congress. But it has sat on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk ever since, untouched and unpassed, because McConnell and Trump refuse to support it.
- He backtracked and failed to support red flag laws: Red flag laws are extremely popular measures that empower family members and law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily remove a person’s guns when the person is showing warning signs of posing a risk to themselves or others. After last year’s mass shootings, Trump promised to support these life-saving measures –– but he’s since abandoned the idea.
- He has made it easier for criminals to access ghost guns: In January, Trump decided to enable schematics for downloadable, untraceable guns to be posted online––a move that could allow terrorists, convicted felons, and domestic abusers to 3D print untraceable weapons. Trump has also failed to address the rising problem of DIY ghost guns––firearms made from parts available without a background check––which have emerged as a weapon of choice for violent criminals and extremists.
- He made it possible for people suffering from severe mental illness to buy guns: In 2017, Trump quietly reversed an Obama-era rule, thus making it possible for people who were found to be unable to manage their financial affairs as a result of their mental impairment to buy guns.
- He designated gun dealers “essential” during the pandemic: In a time when there is a heightened risk of domestic violence, unintentional gun violence, and suicide, the Trump administration caved to gun lobby pressure by issuing guidance recommending that gun dealers be deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic––putting gun shops on same level as police departments, hospitals, and grocery stores.
- He has caved to the NRA at every turn: After receiving $30 million in political support from the NRA in 2016, Trump’s administration has shaped policies at the NRA’s behest. Trump has also repeatedly spoken with NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, who asked Trump to “stop the games” around gun safety legislation after this year’s mass shootings. Shortly after, Trump obliged.
More than 100,000 Americans have been killed by guns since President Trump took office––and twice that many have been wounded––in mass shootings, incidents of daily gun violence, unintentional gun violence, and gun suicide.
Everytown Action Fund and Victory Fund plan to spend $60 million on an electoral program for 2020, doubling what it spent in 2018. For all the reasons outlined above, Everytown, Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action will work tirelessly to elect Vice President Biden this November.