Biden acknowledged truth that gun control won’t work to stop criminals in 1985

President Joe Biden has been at the forefront of the current push by Democrats to impose a variety of strict new gun control laws, including federal bans on so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” ammunition magazines.

Yet, in 1985, then-Sen. Biden (D-DE) accurately argued on the Senate floor that gun bans don’t work to stop criminals from obtaining and misusing firearms, Breitbart reported.

Those remarks came during debate on amendments to the bill that would become the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, a mixed bag of legislation that, as the name implies, strengthened some protections for lawful gun owners and dealers while also imposing other gun control measures — such as a ban on new machineguns — ostensibly aimed at criminals.

Biden in 2022: Ban the guns to stop criminals

President Biden in recent weeks has strongly demanded that Congress pass new gun control measures in the wake of two recent mass shooting tragedies in New York and Texas.

Those demands culminated in a primetime speech Thursday night in which he laid out several proposals that would curtail the Second Amendment-protected rights of lawful gun owners, including a ban on popular AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles and the standard 30-round magazines those rifles commonly come equipped with.

“We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. And if we can’t ban assault weapons, then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21,” Biden said Thursday. “Strengthen background checks. Enact safe storage laws and red-flag laws. Repeal the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability. Address the mental health crisis deepening the trauma of gun violence and as a consequence of that violence.”

He went on to call those proposals “rational, commonsense measures,” but that position is a far cry from where the former Delaware senator stood in 1985.

Biden in 1985: Gun bans don’t work to stop criminals

According to the archived Congressional Record for July 9, 1985, the Senate held a lengthy debate on several amendments to the eventual 1986 law, including a proposed ban on handguns.

Then-Sen. Biden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, briefly took to the floor to explain why he opposed that Democratic proposal and instead stood alongside his Republican colleagues and the National Rifle Association.

“I believe the compromises that are now a part of this bill have resulted in a balanced piece of legislation that protects the rights of private gun owners while not infringing on law enforcement’s ability to deal with those who misuse guns or violate laws,” Biden said.

“During my 12 and a half years as a member of this body, I have never believed that additional gun control or federal registration of guns would reduce crime,” he continued. “I am convinced that a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, nontraceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control.”

“In my opinion, a national register or ban of handguns would be impossible to carry out and may not result in reductions in crime,” Biden added. What he said then was true about handguns and criminals and remains true to this day with regard to so-called “assault weapons” and mass shooters.

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