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HomeHosting CompanyDonald Trump has been the strongest arms control president in the last...

Donald Trump has been the strongest arms control president in the last quarter of a century

Weapon bulletsGun control is an emotional issue at both ends of the political spectrum. And there is nothing inherently wrong with bringing emotions into a gun fight. Indeed, if you completely take the feeling out of politics, it would not be too much to motivate people.

That being said, emotions can also upset your judgment. When you look at the goals that modern party presidents have actually done the most to promote gun control, they can almost guarantee that most people’s intuitions are wrong.

The gunshots were apoplectic compared to Barack Obama. Despite this, the only two major bills Obama has signed into law have actually extended gun rights. One allowed Amtrak passengers to carry weapons in their hold baggage, and the other allowed firearms to be transported to national parks (a reversal of Ronald Reagan’s policy of requiring weapons to be stored in closed trunks or torpedoes in national parks). ). ).

Obama also announced a set of executive actions aimed at better enforcing existing weapons laws. Even the right-wing Cato Institute acknowledged that they were largely ineffective. Obama has introduced a second-term policy that calls on the Social Security Administration to improve the federal firearms background check system with information about people who have received social security benefits for mental illness. The inclusion of this information about mental illness in the background checks of weapons would have affected approximately 75,000 people. Donald Trump repealed this policy in 2017 before it came into full force.

Trump, in turn, has enacted a new rule banning “bump” actions during the White House. You may recall that a shotgun is an accessory used to allow semi-automatic firearms to mimic an automatic firing rate and that a shotgun was used by the Las Vegas Shooter in 2017 to perform the worst mass shooting from modern American history in terms. of the total number of bodies.

According to ATF estimates, about 520,000 Americans held large stocks when these accessories were banned under the Trump administration. Owners of Bump shares had 90 days to surrender their shares or destroy them under the Trump rule. Bump shareholders were not offered or compensated.

So far, Trump’s ban has been upheld by the courts. It also seems to have worked: since the ban, no other major mass shooting has been reported in the United States in which the gunman used a noise material.

Joe Biden, the current president, talks about the need for gun control, but also acknowledges that congressional action is needed to bring about significant change. As measured by the number of people affected, Biden’s greatest achievement in gun control to date is likely to be the suppression of so-called “ghost weapons”, which are privately manufactured firearms without serial numbers. . ATF reports indicate that approximately 20,000 “ghost cannons” have been recovered from crime scenes in the United States in 2021.

Arms control did not take a major step forward during the George W. Bush administration. However, Second President Bush has advocated several modest arms control measures, including instant background checks and voluntary crackdown programs. In addition, George W. Bush has promised to sign an extension of the federal assault weapons ban, which will reach his office. He never did.

Which brings us to Bill Clinton. The Clinton administration has been very strong in terms of gun control. Bill Clinton signed two major gun control laws in his first term: Brady Bill and the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. However, during his second term, Clinton did not do much more about gun control in in addition to signing an executive order banning the import of assault weapons. Clinton achieved the goals of gun control policy for the first time (although some of her greatest accomplishments had a relatively short shelf life).

So in the last 25 years, at least if you measure the number of people affected, it seems clear that more federal control of guns has been implemented under Donald Trump than under Joe Biden, Barack Obama, George W. Bush or later. the term Bill Clinton. If you generously assume that Biden’s crackdown will actually keep 20,000 “ghost weapons” on the streets and combine that with the 75,000 mentally ill who, in theory, would have been prevented from buying weapons by the most ambitious gun control measure. of Obama (he would have gone into full force, which he did not), the impact of the ban on Trump’s stock market ban would still be more than five times greater. According to the New York Times, Trump wanted to control his weapons even more after the mass shootings, but was repeatedly rejected by advisers.

Of course, it’s easy to forget all this when Trump speaks at the NRA three days after 19 children were shot at their elementary school. I find it a useful exercise in many different contexts to ignore what people are saying and to look at their actions. If you do that in this situation, despite what he might say, it seems that Trump has, in fact, done much more in arms control than any other Clinton president since his first term.


Jonathan Wolf is a civil lawyer and author of Your debt-free JD (affiliate link). He taught legal writing, wrote for a wide variety of publications, and did both business and the pleasure of having financial and scientific knowledge. Any opinions he expresses are probably pure gold, but they are still his own and should not be attributed to any organization to which he is affiliated. He wouldn’t want to split the credit anyway. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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