Biden's Gun Control Push Creates Opening for GOP in Midterms President Joe Biden speaks during an event on gun control in the Rose Garden at the White House April 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Tuesday, 13 April 2021 11:04 AM
Republican candidates could gain from President Joe Biden’s call for an assault weapons ban and other gun control measures.
The Hill reported that Biden’s gun control push is putting pressure on Democrats to pass legislation, but Democrat strategists are concerned any legislation could put their candidates at risk heading into the 2022 midterm elections and lead to Republican victories.
The outlet said any votes to ban assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines are seen as a potential liability in Senate battlegrounds like North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
"Republicans are already claiming that Democrats are trying to take people’s guns and have no respect for the Second Amendment," said one North Carolina-based Democrat strategist.
"It is a problem in all those states, in my mind. The question which is going to determine 2022 is: Is it going to be enough to get those (Donald) Trump voters out to vote?"
The Hill noted a debate on gun control of any kind is seen as especially worrisome to North Carolina Democrats since it could energize rural Republican-leaning voters in a way that would otherwise be difficult without former the former president on the ticket.
Trump won North Carolina in both 2016 and 2020.
"It’s more powerful in the Republican rural base," the strategist said of the gun control debate, while "it’s one of a litany of issues that suburban voters do not agree with the Republican Party on."
Biden has called for a ban on assault weapons and for tighter gun control measures. "I don't need to wait another minute, let alone another hour, to take common sense steps that will save lives in the future," Biden said, adding that "we can ban assault weapons."
"This is not and should not be a partisan issue. t's an American issue that will save lives, American lives. We must act.
"We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country, once again."
More than a handful of Republican governors have blasted Biden’s gun control plans as total government outreach and some have defied his push with legislation of their own, according to reports.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a new bill that would block any federal restrictions against the Second Amendment in the state. In Tennessee on the same day, Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill that allows people in the state to carry handguns concealed or openly without a permit.
Biden has unveiled a raft of executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence and tightening firearm controls, including asking the Department of Justice to propose a rule to stop ''ghost guns,'' or homemade firearms, that usually are assembled from parts and milled with a metal-cutting machine and often lack serial numbers used to trace them.
The Hill noted that Dave Heller, a Democrat strategist who has worked for House candidates across the country, said if proposals to ban assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines come to the House for a vote, no lawmaker who is considering a run for the Senate is likely to vote for them.