Yesterday, Hunter Biden got some bad news. Unlike the Secret Service, which tried to protect the then-former vice president’s son from getting in trouble for owning an illegal gun, the DOJ finally grew a conscience. The breadwinner of the Biden family faces three charges over breaking federal gun laws, laws that Joe Biden and the Democrats staunchly support, as they do all gun restrictions.
Although Dear Dad, or “the Big Guy,” does not like the Second Amendment, Hunter might soon be putting his father in a Sophie’s Choice situation: Will Joe Biden direct the Department of Justice to defend federal gun laws against a Supreme Court even if doing so means his son goes to prison?
Politico writes that the constitutionality of that law — like many other provisions restricting gun ownership — is newly in question after a precedent-rocking decision the Supreme Court handed down almost a year ago.
His lawyers have already told Justice Department officials that, if their client is charged with the gun crime, they will challenge the law under the Second Amendment, according to a person familiar with the private discussions granted anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly. That could turn a case that is already fraught with political consequences into a high-profile showdown over the right to bear arms.
The dispute would come as the White House fights to tighten gun laws. And it could put conservative gun-rights enthusiasts, who typically criticize the Biden family, in unusual alignment with the president’s son.
Federal prosecutors are expected to soon finalize the Hunter Biden investigation. David Weiss, the U.S. attorney for Delaware who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, is leading the probe. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in May that Weiss is “capable of making any decisions that he feels are appropriate,” and that he won’t face political pressure. Weiss is widely reported to be examining potential tax crimes related to undeclared income, as well as Hunter Biden’s purchase of a handgun in October 2018.”
The chance to strengthen the Second Amendment by using the case of his son against Biden’s push to restrict gun owners might be too difficult for the conservatives on the Supreme Court to pass on.
NBC News writes, “By bringing these charges, the government is effectively inviting a drawn-out fight on a subject that’s been increasingly scrutinized by the courts, following the GOP-controlled Supreme Court’s revolutionary expansion of gun rights.
Just last month, for example, in a cannabis user’s case that involves one of the laws Biden was just charged under — which bars drug users from possessing guns — an appeals court said the law violates the Second Amendment. And Biden’s charges come as the Supreme Court will consider whether to expand gun rights even further in its upcoming term, which starts next month.
None of this is lost on Biden’s legal team. His lawyer Abbe Lowell said after the indictment: “We believe these charges are barred by the agreement the prosecutors made with Mr. Biden, the recent rulings by several federal courts that this statute is unconstitutional, and the facts that he did not violate that law, and we plan to demonstrate all of that in court.”
In the case, notes The Washington Examiner, “the high court decided New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen on June 23 last year, in which Justice Clarence Thomas, the most conservative justice on the bench and a staunch defender of Second Amendment freedoms, wrote for the majority that New York’s 108-year-old ‘proper cause’ concealed carry regime was unlawful.
‘It’s the framework that is going to be used on almost all challenges that will be coming up regarding the Second Amendment,’ Tom King, executive director of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, the plaintiff in the landmark case, told the Washington Examiner.
Although the ruling directly affected New York’s law, it had a sweeping influence on other states, leading lawmakers to evaluate new regulations complying with the Supreme Court decision while preserving strict ownership laws. Attorneys general in California, Hawaii, and New Jersey issued similar directives informing residents they could no longer require concealed carry permit applicants to demonstrate a justifiable need to carry a handgun.
In the immediate eight months after the Bruen decision, there were 31 successful claims in lower court legal fights where it’s been cited, according to Jake Charles, an associate professor at Pepperdine University’s Caruso School of Law who has tracked lawsuits against firearms laws.”
Following the ruling, the White House released a statement condemning the Court’s overturning of an anti-gun law, which now Hunter will be clinging to to stay out of prison.
“I am deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. Since 1911, the State of New York has required individuals who would like to carry a concealed weapon in public to show a need to do so for the purpose of self-defense and to acquire a license. More than a century later, the United States Supreme Court has chosen to strike down New York’s long-established authority to protect its citizens. This ruling contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all.
In the wake of the horrific attacks in Buffalo and Uvalde, as well as the daily acts of gun violence that do not make national headlines, we must do more as a society — not less — to protect our fellow Americans. I remain committed to doing everything in my power to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer. I have already taken more executive actions to reduce gun violence than any other President during their first year in office, and I will continue to do all that I can to protect Americans from gun violence.
I urge states to continue to enact and enforce commonsense laws to make their citizens and communities safer from gun violence. As the late Justice Scalia recognized, the Second Amendment is not absolute. For centuries, states have regulated who may purchase or possess weapons, the types of weapons they may use, and the places they may carry those weapons. And the courts have upheld these regulations.
I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard on gun safety. Lives are on the line.”