Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a New York Democrat, urged President Biden on April 14, 2023, to issue an executive order to prohibit “assault weapons,” bypassing Congress. Bowman stated that the democratic process was insufficient and that Biden should even break the law to implement a ban. He argued that Democrats needed to demonstrate their commitment to the cause and take every possible action.
“This stance demonstrates a clear disregard for the rule of law. It’s also remarkably short-sighted, as Democrats undoubtedly don’t want a future Republican president to take the same approach Bowman is advocating here.” @brad_polumbo https://t.co/DqFDv5lJL8
— Jack Hunter (@jackhunter74) April 14, 2023
Bowman’s proposal for unilateral action by Biden is deeply concerning. While the argument for prohibiting “assault weapons” is debatable, it should be subjected to a fair discussion and voted on by Congress, rather than being imposed through presidential decree. Even if Congress approves such a ban, the current Supreme Court could invalidate it on the grounds that it violates the Second Amendment.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman is calling on President Biden to pass an executive order on gun reform, after a spate of recent shootings.
“I wish the president would sign an executive order to ban assault rifles, and if it goes to the courts for a fight, so be it.” https://t.co/ODv0l63RO7
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) April 12, 2023
The executive branch lacks the authority to ban a firearms accessory without Congress passing legislation. This was evident when the ATF attempted to ban “bump stocks,” a commonly used accessory that helps users shoot at a faster rate, by reclassifying them with a new rule, but their efforts were consistently rejected by the courts as unconstitutional because they lacked legislative approval. Therefore, if the government cannot unilaterally prohibit an accessory, it certainly cannot ban an entire category of firearm that includes millions of legally owned firearms.
Bowman’s position indicates a clear disregard for the rule of law and is remarkably short-sighted. If the executive deliberately enacted unconstitutional actions for virtue signaling purposes, it would be an enormous waste of resources and taxpayers’ money, as the courts would have to repeatedly overturn such actions. This approach is not how responsible adults achieve their goals.
Democrats are becoming more insistent on disregarding democratic norms and processes that obstruct their agenda, as they merely use democracy as a rhetorical tool. It is crucial that Democratic politicians cease playing foolish games with our constitutional system before they reap the consequences of their actions. The American people deserve better than this.