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In a declaration that is certain to upset throngs of gun owners, President-elect Joe Biden has declared that he’ll “defeat” the National Rifle Association during his term.
In response to a tweet from former Rep. Gabby Gifford (D-Ariz.), who was one of 14 people shot in January 2011 during an event in Tucson and whose husband, Democrat Mark Kelly, just won a U.S. Senate seat, Biden’s official account pledged to “defeat the NRA.”
“Ten years ago, my life and my community changed forever. I was shot in the head, six people were killed, 12 others injured. But the attack did not break me—or the people I represented in Congress. We came together, turned pain into purpose, and found hope in each other,” Giffords wrote on the anniversary of the attack by shooter Jared Lee Loughner.
“Your perseverance and immeasurable courage continue to inspire me and millions of others. I pledge to continue to work with you—and with survivors, families, and advocates across the country—to defeat the NRA and end our epidemic of gun violence,” Biden’s account noted in response.
.@GabbyGiffords — Your perseverance and immeasurable courage continue to inspire me and millions of others. I pledge to continue to work with you — and with survivors, families, and advocates across the country — to defeat the NRA and end our epidemic of gun violence. https://t.co/zN5J5YjXUM
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 8, 2021
The 5 million member-strong gun rights group published a piece on its website about how Biden plans to “begin a concerted attack on the rights of American gun owners” after being inaugurated on Jan. 20.
“We must be ready for the onslaught,” the post by Charles C.W. Cooke says. He adds that if possible, a Biden White House “will ban and confiscate the most-commonly owned rifle in the United States” and “will arbitrarily limit the number of guns that can be bought per month,” among other policies.
That includes opening “up the courts to frivolous suits with the hope that they might achieve, through ‘lawfare,’ what they cannot through legislation” and “arbitrarily limit the number of guns that can be bought per month.”
On his campaign website, Biden talked of a plan to end “our gun violence epidemic,” while also claiming that he “has taken on” the NRA twice. The site also says that “almost 40,000 people die as a result of firearm injuries every year” in the U.S., though the vast majority of those deaths are the result of suicide.
“In 1993, he shepherded through Congress the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which established the background check system that has since kept more than 3 million firearms out of dangerous hands. In 1994, Biden – along with Senator Dianne Feinstein – secured the passage of 10-year bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As president, Joe Biden will defeat the NRA again,” the site says.
The NRA is also being targeted by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who filed suit against the organization in August.
“As today’s complaints lay out, we found that the NRA […] fostered a culture of non-compliance and disregard for internal controls that led to the waste and loss of millions of assets and contributed to the NRA’s current deteriorated financial state,” she said at a press conference.
“The NRA’s influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets,” James added. “The NRA is fraught with fraud and abuse, which is why, today, we seek to dissolve the NRA, because no organization is above the law.”
The gun-rights group countersued the following day accusing the “New York Democratic Party political machine” of “seek[ing] to harass, defund, and dismantle the NRA because of what it believes and what it says.
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