Fifteen Republican state attorneys general have sent a letter to Joe Biden criticizing his administration’s stance on banning “assault weapons” and pledging to oppose his plan to target gun rights. The coalition, led by Republican Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, questioned Biden’s definition of “assault weapons,” stating that the call to ban is both “irresponsible and unconstitutional.” The letter further referred to Biden’s State of The Union Address and his comments about assault weapons and semi-automatic handguns as “astonishing.”
The letter specifically responded to Biden’s call for Congress to ban “assault weapons” and questioned his “assault weapon” designation, calling it a “misleading label” and an attempt to scare Americans and criminalize law-abiding gun owners. According to the letter, there are over 100 million semi-automatic handguns and 45 million semi-automatic rifles in the United States possessed by law-abiding Americans.
— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) February 15, 2023
“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,” Knudsen wrote.
The coalition further condemned Biden’s decision to use Monterey Park hero Brandon Tsay to call for a nationwide ban on “assault weapons” during his State of the Union Address. Biden referenced Tsay while calling for the ban, saying, “He saved lives. It’s time we do the same as well.”
Tsay, 26, took down the Monterey Park gunman who killed 11 people following a Chinese Lunar New Year dance festival. The letter stated that “Your reliance on Mr. Tsay’s heroics, however, is both cynical and self-defeating.”
The letter concludes by stating that “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.”
Biden has a record of calling for “assault weapon” bans, and most recently pledged to push for a ban in January. Following multiple mass shootings, Biden said that there is no “social redeeming value” to owning “assault weapons” because deer do not wear “Kevlar vests.” Biden’s remarks came at the National Action Network’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day breakfast.
Referencing the Second Amendment’s purpose as a means for private citizens to defend themselves against the government, Biden also said that it would take a lot more firepower than an AR-15 to take down the government. “I love my right-wing friends who’ll talk about the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots. If you need to worry about taking on the federal government, you need some F-15s, you don’t need an AR-15,” Biden continued.