AP Photo/ Cheryl Senter

Gun Control Lobby Maintains Radio Silence on Hunter Biden Trial

Last week it was the New York Times that took a one-sided interest in how Hunter Biden’s trial is playing out among Second Amendment groups; utterly ignoring any mention of the gun control lobby in its coverage. Now the Wall St. Journal is taking a look at Biden’s “unlikely fan base” in the 2A community, and while the paper at least mentions the silence from gun control outfits like Everytown and Giffords, its focus is still on those Second Amendment supporters who say Biden shouldn’t be facing federal prosecution. 

In an unusual break from the predictable, reflexive battles between the American left and right, prominent gun rights advocates are now rallying around Hunter Biden, whose trial has run several days, with closing arguments taking place Monday. Though they view his father as one the biggest threats to the Second Amendment, they are standing behind his son on principle. 
“Hunter Biden is innocent,” said CJ Grisham, a Texas attorney and an early leader in the movement to carry guns in public. “I think Hunter Biden is a despicable person and I definitely don’t believe in his politics but the fact of the matter is he is charged with a bogus crime.”
… John Crump, a writer at the pro-gun site AmmoLand, said the Biden case has revealed a split in the gun world.
“You have some that are looking at the case saying, ‘You need equal treatment under the law, he shouldn’t get any special treatment,’” said Crump. “You have others who feel that, ‘You might not like this guy, you might not like his dad, his dad has attacked our rights, but it’s still an unjust law and we don’t want to see anybody prosecuted under an unjust law.’”
In a piece boldly headlined, “Hunter Biden: You Must Acquit, the Law’s Not Legit,” Crump contended that barring illicit drug users from owning guns doesn’t pass the test established by the Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen requiring gun laws to be deeply rooted in historical precedent.
Since the Bruen decision in 2022, several courts, including an appeals court, have tossed cases against people accused of violating the drug-user gun ban. Early laws made it a crime to carry a gun while intoxicated, but judges have cited the absence of historical measures that entirely stripped away the gun rights of Americans for such offenses.

I don’t see any conflict between thinking the federal statute barring “unlawful” users of drugs from possessing firearms is unjust and believing that if other Americans who aren’t connected to the politically powerful are being prosecuted then Hunter Biden should be too. I wouldn’t complain in the slightest if the Supreme Court ultimately holds that the current statute is too broad to stand up to Second Amendment scrutiny, but until that day comes Biden shouldn’t be given a pass while people like Patrick Darnell Daniels are sentenced to years behind bars for using marijuana while owning guns. 

But where do gun control advocates come down, and why haven’t they been singing the praises of the DOJ on Morning Joe or Maddow this week? They’re obviously they’re in favor of the DOJ’s position in general, but it’s still at least somewhat awkward that the son of their endorsed candidate is facing the potential of a federal prison sentence if he’s convicted for a non-violent, possessory crime. To its credit, the WSJ reached out to at least one gun control group, but couldn’t even get a generic soundbite out of them. 

Meantime, gun-control groups fighting to keep the drug-user ban in place have been noticeably silent on Hunter Biden. A spokeswoman for Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun-control group in the country, said it hadn’t issued any statements on the case. President Biden is scheduled to speak at Everytown’s annual conference this week, she noted.

What about Giffords, Brady, March for Our Lives, or even smaller outfits like Guns Down or Here 4 The Kids, which tried to get Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to sign an executive order banning gun sales in the state earlier this year? Surely one of those groups must be willing to praise the DOJ for its prosecution of Hunter Biden, right? I mean, this is the biggest story in the gun rights/gun control world this week. 

Giffords and Brady are talking about prohibited persons and gun storage while studiously ignoring the trial in Delaware, where an allegedly prohibited person is accused of leaving his revolver in his truck, where it was taken by an unauthorized individual who threw it in the trash. If Hunter Biden’s last name was LaPierre they’d be livetweeting every moment of his trial, but because it’s a Biden who’s facing felony charges, the groups are allowed to maintain radio silence; dealing only with only oblique criticism from a handful of outlets like the Journal

That will probably be the case even after a verdict is reached, though one or more groups might issue a statement (regardless of the outcome) that offers respect for the jury’s decision without calling into question the constitutionality of the laws Biden is charged with breaking. 

Anti-gun groups like Everytown and Giffords shouldn’t get a pass from the media for their refusal to acknowledge Hunter Biden’s trial or their unwillingness to weigh in on the fairness of the statute in question, but we know they will. Heck, they already have. Being a gun control advocate means you never have to answer a skeptical question from the press, because those questions are hardly ever asked in the first place. 

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