President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise to institute strict new gun-control measures.
While he has yet to make a major move in that regard, state-level Republicans seem intent on remaining one step ahead of him — including a new bill being proposed in Oklahoma.
“Simply a red line”
According to reports, one state senator is pushing legislation that would effectively nullify any federal firearms restrictions that exceed existing state laws already on the books.
Republican state Sen. Warren Hamilton’s proposed Senate Bill 631 would make his state a Second Amendment “sanctuary.” He told one local news outlet that the bill draws a line in the sand on the issue of gun control.
“No governmental agency has the constitutional authority to restrict magazines, ammunition, modern sporting rifles, or AR pistols,” Hamilton said.
According to the Oklahoma lawmaker, his bill “is simply a red line that clearly defines the limits of governmental authority regarding our unalienable, God-given, blood-bought, constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.”
The bill was approved earlier this week in a committee vote and will now advance to the full state Senate.
“An ambitious plan”
Oklahoma is not the only state where such debates are being held. Republicans in Missouri, for example, are taking similar action to stymie any plan by the Biden administration to run roughshod over the rights of gun owners.
In South Dakota, GOP lawmakers have sponsored legislation designed to bypass such executive orders.
Despite any major play on guns during his first weeks in office, Biden has made promises to the gun-control lobby that have alarmed gun owners nationwide. Notably, he has reiterated calls to enact “universal” background checks for all firearm sales, ban “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines, and repeal civil liability protections for gun manufacturers that build so-called “weapons of war.”
The president has also held meetings with gun-control advocates, who are clearly eager for him to begin wielding his executive power to target perceived loopholes impacting home-built firearms and a provision allowing gun sales to go through if a background check takes longer than three days.
Furthermore, Biden’s pick to serve as attorney general, Merrick Garland, said this week that he would support gun-control regulations — including gun bans — if nominated to lead the Justice Department. As a White House statement affirmed, Biden has “laid out an ambitious plan to keep our communities safe, and he remains committed to that agenda.”