Biden’s call to ban assault weapons slammed by 16 attorneys general

Legislature Adjourns
State Rep. Austin Knudsen, R-Culbertson, speaks about the impact of the failure to pass an infrastructure bill for eastern Montana communities affected by the Bakken oil boom, Tuesday, April 26, 2015, after the Legislature adjourned three days early in Helena, Mon. (AP Photo/Lisa Baumann) Lisa Baumann/AP

Biden’s call to ban assault weapons slammed by 16 attorneys general

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President Joe Biden‘s demands for a ban on assault weapons were called irresponsible and unconstitutional by 16 state attorneys.

The coalition of attorneys general, led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, sent a letter to the president saying his reasons for banning assault weapons have many “flaws” and could create a potential danger.


“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,” the letter stated. “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.”

Biden made the suggestion during his State of the Union address last week as he discussed widespread criminal justice reform in the wake of the death of Tyre Nichols, a black man who was beaten to death by Memphis police officers.

“We stand ready to oppose any attempt by your Administration to trample on this fundamental constitutional right,” the letter said.

The letter cited a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that said Americans engage in defensive gun use up to 3 million times per year — “far more often than guns are used in crimes, and far, far more often than guns injure people,” the letter said.

The attorneys general claim that, under Biden’s proposed ban, “over 100 million Americans will be deprived of their ability to defend themselves, their families, homes, and businesses.”

The letter comes two days after a mass shooting at Michigan State University that left multiple students dead. On Tuesday, Biden once again called on Congress to enact “commonsense gun law reforms.”


“Congress must do something and enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, closing loopholes in our background check system, requiring safe storage of guns, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets,” Biden said in a statement.

He continued, “Action is what we owe to those grieving today in Michigan and across America.”

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