NRA slams Biden’s SOTU speech as attack on ‘the very fabric of American freedom’

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FIRST ON FOX: The National Rifle Association slammed President Biden for “targeting the very fabric of American freedom” when he singled-out the NRA in his State of the Union speech while calling for gun control. 

“By singling out the NRA, Biden isn’t attacking an organization; he’s belittling millions of lawful Americans. He’s attacking the very fabric of American freedom and self-defense. He claims his proposals and policies will not infringe on the Second Amendment,” NRA interim Vice President and CEO Andrew Arulanandam told Fox News Digital. 

“That’s, in his words, malarkey. To put it plainly, President Biden needs to show some compassion to law-abiding Americans, instead of coddling criminals.”

During the president’s State of the Union address, Biden called out the NRA and demanded strict gun control measures, such as banning so-called assault weapons.

WATCH: 5 KEY HIGHLIGHTS FROM PRESIDENT BIDEN’S SOTU SPEECH

“I’m proud we beat the NRA when I signed [the] most significant gun safety law in nearly 30 years because of this Congress. We now must beat the NRA again. I’m demanding a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Pass universal background checks,” Biden said Thursday during the State of the Union, while celebrating the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that he signed into law in 2022. 

“None of this – none of this – I taught the Second Amendment for 12 years. None of this violates the Second Amendment or vilifies responsible gun owners,” he continued.

Arulanandam said that “during President Biden’s State of the Union gun control tirade, he took a swing at only one organization,” arguing he named the NRA specifically because the group is the leader in stopping “his radical gun control schemes.”

BIDEN’S STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH REINFORCED MENTAL ACUITY AND AGE CONCERNS, REPUBLICANS SAY

“He called out the NRA thrice by name. He did that because he knows that the NRA is the only gun-rights group that has repeatedly, and successfully, stood in the way of his radical gun control schemes,” Arulanandam said. 

Throughout his presidency and before, Biden has called for a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” saying he previously “defeated” the NRA in the 1990s when Congress passed a 10-year ban on certain semiautomatic firearms. 

Biden, while serving as a Delaware senator, voted to ban semiautomatic firearms in 1994 as part of a major crime bill, while the Democrat-majority House at the time passed the ban as a standalone bill. The bill ultimately was incorporated into the sweeping anti-crime package and required exceptions in order to pass, including a sunset provision. 

The bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in September of that year. It enacted a 10-year ban on the manufacture, transfer or possession of “semiautomatic assault weapons” and “large capacity ammunition feeding devices.”

BIDEN ASSAILS ‘PREDECESSOR’ TRUMP AND GOP IN SHARPLY PARTISAN STATE OF THE UNION

The law expired in 2004, when George W. Bush was president and Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress. 

“He chooses to ignore data from when he was senator; a congressionally mandated study of the 1994-2004 federal ‘assault weapon ban’ found no significant impact on crime rates, echoing the fact that rifles of any kind are rarely used in gun murders, a sentiment supported by FBI statistics,” Arulanandam said. 

NRA convention

A Department of Justice study published in 1999 examined the short-term effects of the ban and found it “failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot wound victims.” Another DOJ study published in 2004 determined the ban’s “effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” 

However, in 2021, the Washington Post, while fact checking Biden’s claim that the 10-year ban “brought down” mass killings, found the “body of research now increasingly suggests the 1994 law was effective in reducing mass-shooting deaths.”

BIDEN TO USE STATE OF THE UNION TO STRESS ‘HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENTS’ AND IMPORTANCE OF ‘SAVING OUR DEMOCRACY’

Andrew Arulanandam

“Biden’s crusade for banning so-called ‘assault weapons’ dismisses the life-saving role these firearms play in the lives of average Americans – like the eight-month pregnant mother in Florida, who used her AR-15 to defend her family from violent intruders. Joe Biden would rather disarm that mother and leave her to the mercy of criminals than let her have the gun that would save her life,” Arulanandam said. 

EX-REP GEORGE SANTOS RETURNS TO CAPITOL HILL FOR BIDEN’S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

Joe Biden SOTU

White House spokesman Jeremy Edwards responded to the NRA’s statement by saying that Biden is working to protect “American families and communities from the epidemic of gun violence.” 

“While the NRA is focused on protecting the multi-billion dollar gun industry, President Biden is focused on protecting American families and communities from the epidemic of gun violence that took the lives of 40,000 Americans last year and remains the number one killer of kids in America. That’s why he’s fighting to reestablish a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines – because we know these weapons of war make mass shootings twice as deadly,” Edwards said. 

“The bottom line is this: A majority of Americans, including a majority of gun owners, want to see something done to end this epidemic of gun violence. President Biden will continue to use every tool at his disposal to keep communities safe.”

The interim NRA chief, who took over the position earlier this year after longtime NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre stepped down citing health issues, also took issue with Biden’s demand for universal background checks, arguing the proposal would “criminalize private transfers among law-abiding citizens and will not address the root of gun violence.” 

“This push for so-called ‘universal’ background checks ignores the reality that criminals do not submit to background checks because they don’t follow the law. Studies, including those conducted in California, have shown that such measures have no significant effect on reducing gun homicides or suicides. Indeed, even a Department of Justice survey found that the majority of criminals obtain firearms through illegal means, circumventing any and all ‘universal’ background checks,” he said. 

The DOJ study, published in 2019, found that 90% of those imprisoned who possessed a gun during a criminal offense did not obtain it from a retail source. Instead, the guns were overwhelmingly stolen or purchased through an underground market. 

“About 1.3% of prisoners obtained a gun from a retail source and used it during their offense,” the study found. 

Edwards continued in his response to Fox Digital that the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which Biden signed into law in 2022, requires “more thorough background checks,” including a demographic of individuals who “usually” carry out the “deadliest mass shootings.” 

“We also know that the deadliest mass shootings are usually carried out by people under the age of 21. The President’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act requires the FBI to conduct more thorough background checks, which have stopped more than 600 illegal gun purchases by people under 21 years old who presented a danger to our communities. These commonsense measures are saving lives, keeping guns out of the hands of individuals with felony convictions, serious mental health issues, and active arrest warrants,” he said. 

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act dictates that individuals under the age of 21 who seek to purchase a firearm go through an enhanced background check. The DOJ released data in January showing that the FBI had issued the 500th denial for a gun purchase among individuals under the age of 21, including for mental illness or drug use. 

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