Washington, DC – President Joe Biden’s plan to combat gun violence by targeting gun dealers he labeled as “merchants of death” has not been sufficiently researched and may not be based in fact, some experts say.
As it stands, there is not enough evidence to support the notion that his policies were constructed using factual data, The Washington Times reported.
Andrew Moral was one of the authors of a Rand Corporation research report that analyzed thousands of gun policy research studies published since 1995, according to the news outlet.
The nonprofit organization did not find a connection between mass shootings and gun dealer misconduct and provided mixed results on Biden’s other violent-crime reduction proposals, The Washington Times reported.
A review of studies that focused on the impact of transferring firearms to people who were prohibited from possessing them due to their violent criminal histories were also inconclusive.
According to the studies, complying with background checks did moderately impact violent crime, Rand concluded.
In sum, the report found that more studies still need to be conducted before any conclusions can be spewed as fact.
“I want to be clear that moderate or inconclusive evidence doesn’t mean that a [gun] law is not effective,” Moral told The Washington Times. “It means the research, in many cases, hasn’t been done.”
“This is not a field that has a lot of research,” he continued, “and in many cases, the research is very weak.”
According to Texas Public Policy Foundation Vice President Derek Cohen, a study conducted by Everytown in 2020 that concluded more than 84,000 firearms were used in a crime within three years after they were originally purchased from a retail dealer was flawed, The Washington Times reported.
“It’s a confirmation bias because crime guns are typically the ones stolen from law-abiding citizens, not the ones legally purchased,” Cohen said. “You could have a pawnbroker that doesn’t adhere to the rules, but I’ve looked at this space for the last 20 years and if the primary focus of a business is selling guns, just because of the licensing requirements, dealers are crossing every T and dotting every I.”
Andrew Zucker, spokesperson for Everytown, countered that the data his organization used was based off of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives data that didn’t differentiate between weapons that had been purchased legally and those that had been stolen, The Washington Times reported.
White House Spokesperson Michael Gwin, who is tasked with overseeing inquiries about the crime prevention strategy, did not respond to questions about the underlying research the Biden administration used to establish the plan, according to the news outlet.
“A year from now, the data that we are going to see is that going after rogue gun dealers will do nothing because that’s not where this problem comes from,” National Police Association (NPA) Spokeswoman Betsy Brantner Smith told The Washington Times.
“When we look at violent crime, most of the offenders did not go to [a federal firearms license] dealer, fill out all of their paperwork, legally purchase a gun and then go commit a violent crime,” Brantner Smith continued. “That’s such a silly, childish notion. That is not how most of the violent offenders are obtaining their weapons right now.”
What the Biden administration should be doing to combat gun violence is to focus on imposing tougher sentences for people convicted of gun-related crimes, she added.
He said he asked Attorney General Merrick Garland “to prioritize” gun violence which he said has become “a public health crisis” in the United States.
He further claimed that gun violence costs American taxpayers $280 billion per year, and said stripping gun manufacturers of liability protection will be among his top priorities, CNN reported.
“For a fraction of the cost of gun violence, we can save lives, create safe and healthy communities, and build economies that work for all of us,” President Biden quipped.
The President called for an all-out “ban” on all “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”
“We should also ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country,” he declared. “For that 10 years we had it done, the number of mass shootings actually went down.”
“Even law enforcement officials have told me and other champions of this legislation that they sometimes feel outgunned by assault weapons with large capacity magazines,” he claimed. “There’s no reason someone needs a weapon of war with 100 rounds – 100 bullets – that can be fired from this weapon. Nobody needs that. Nobody needs that.”
He said banning such weapons and magazines has been a “hobby horse” of his for a long time.
President Biden said he will close the “Charleston loophole” and that he will require buyers to undergo background checks at gun shows.
President Biden claimed that Second Amendment advocates wouldn’t be able to put a stop to his gun control initiatives because “nothing, nothing I’m about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment.”
“They’re phony arguments suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake from what we’re talking about,” the President continued. “But no amendment, no amendment to the Constitution is absolute.”
President Biden used the example of yelling “fire” a crowded theater not being covered by the First Amendment.
“The idea is bizarre to just suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution,” Biden insisted. “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic.”
“Gun violence in this county is an epidemic and an international embarrassment,” he said again.
On June 23, he vowed to go after unethical gun dealers who “willfully” violate the law and said he would be funneling federal dollars into putting more local law enforcement officers on the streets, Reuters reported.
“Merchants of death are breaking the law for profit,” President Biden said at the time. “My message to you is this: We will find you and we’ll seek your license to sell guns. We’ll make sure you can’t sell death and mayhem on our streets.”