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The Gun Safe

Joe Biden Tells Lie After Lie About the Second Amendment. We Noticed.

Joe Biden Second Amendment
President Joe Biden meets with U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V. to talk about passing an infrastructure bill on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

The famous quote: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all time,” is almost universally attributed to President Abraham Lincoln. While Honest Abe never actually uttered those exact words, we accept the sentiment today as politicians and what publicly.

In the case of President Joe Biden and his statements regarding the Second Amendment, he apparently seems to believe he can fool all of the people all of the time by just continuing to double down on outright falsehoods. President Biden has long tried to play both sides, saying he “believes” in the Second Amendment while reminding voters he owns a few shotguns and supports the rights of “sportsman”; but just as quickly is to tell the same voters the Second Amendment isn’t absolute.

However, Biden has been caught out multiple times telling the sale tall tales about the history of the Second Amendment in his typical folksy manner.

Earlier this year, in his Rose Garden address, he made the dubious claim that the Founding Fathers believed that limits needed to be placed on what types of guns could be owned by the citizens at the time of the American Revolutionary War. He doubled down on that claim last week when Biden proclaimed, “The Second Amendment, from the day it was passed, limited the type of people who could own a gun and what type of weapon you could own. You couldn’t buy a cannon.”

It isn’t clear where the president came up with that fact, but firearm historians agree that there was no ban on any type of weapons that could be owned by most Americans until the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934. While expensive, machine guns were certainly sold to civilians – and Auto-Ordnance, the maker of the infamous Thompson Submachine Gun, even had a showroom in Manhattan.

Biden Lies

Either Biden believed this to be true – which is worrisome for a life-long politician who actually went to law school and passed the bar – or he is just saying what he believes his followers want to hear. Either it is completely wrong, but now the mainstream media is paying attention.

This week the Poynter Institute’s PolitiFact and The Washington Post each called out the president for his falsehoods. PolitiFact rated Biden’s claims as false, while The Washington Post reported that it had previously debunked the claims.

Firearms historians were also quick to set the record straight.

“Everything in that statement is wrong,” David Kopel, the research director and Second Amendment project director at the Independence Institute, told The Washington Post, adding after 1791, “there were no federal laws about the type of gun you could own, and no states limited the kind of gun you could own.”

As for the “type of people,” most historians agree that only slaves and Native Americans were typically prohibited from owning firearms and that was based on state law. Slaves had been barred from owning guns in the colonies when prior to the revolution as well.

As Politifact noted, black people – free or enslaved – were further barred from owning firearms under a 1792 Virginia law that stated, “No Negro or mulatto whatsoever shall keep or carry any gun, powder, shot club or other weapon whatsoever.”

Restrictions Not Bans

Even the aforementioned National Firearms Act of 1934 didn’t technically “ban” ownership of any types of weapons. Rather it placed restrictions on that ownership. Today, machine guns are “legal” in thirty-seven states, but would-be buyers must pass a rigid background check conducted by the ATF and that can take upwards of a year. Additionally, buyers must pay a $200 fee/tax to receive a tax stamp.

While the NFA and how it regulates firearms fall into a category of specialty law, the president of the United States should still be expected to know the history of gun laws in general. As such, The Washington Post was actually quite critical of Biden’s statement on the issue of the Second Amendment and gave the president “four Pinocchios,” its highest rating of political falsehoods.

“Some readers might think this is a relatively inconsequential flub. But we disagree,” fact-checker Glenn Kessler wrote for the paper of record.

“Every U.S. president has a responsibility to get American history correct, especially when he’s using a supposed history lesson in service of a political objective. The president’s push for more gun restrictions is an important part of his political platform, so he undercuts his cause when he cites faux facts,” Kessler added. “Moreover, Biden has already been fact-checked on this claim — and it’s been deemed false. We have no idea where he conjured up this notion about a ban on cannon ownership in the early days of the Republic, but he needs to stop making this claim.”

Perhaps Biden just seeks to fool some of the people just long enough to pass his gun control agenda and worry about the truth another time.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on

Written By

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Suciu is also a contributing writer for Forbes Magazine.



  1. Carole J Mooney

    June 29, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    ya, that was a horrible lie…nothing like a typical day in Trump’s world. That Biden lie doesn’t even include “fake news” or “crime of the century” in it…what the hell, Biden, can you at least recommend bleach up our butts or something better??? Trump set the bar really high, but at least try!

  2. Bob Currie

    June 29, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    Ad hominem. Doesn’t change the fact that there are numerous judicial rulings and laws restricting 2A, for good reason.

  3. Greg Novak

    June 30, 2021 at 9:25 am

    2A is exclusively about States’ rights to organize democratically-run militias. Yes, the people they could call up, in many cases, had their own firearms, but as noted in the liberal interpretation of 2A in Heller, 2A in no way means anyone can have any gun, in any manner, for any purpose. If you understand 2A in a sense that an individual right “shall not be infinged”, you may be functionally illiterate.

  4. General jackson

    June 30, 2021 at 10:16 am

    Perhaps we can remind the guy with dementia that until the civil war, more cannons were privately owned than the military had..

  5. Casual Observer

    June 30, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Carole Mooney, your post had nearly as many lies in it as Biden’s quote. Simple fact checking (by listening to the quotes rather than the paraphrased legacy media versions of them) would give you the knowledge that you require.

    That info may keep you from looking like a fool in your next post.

  6. Clifford Williams

    June 30, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    @Greg Novak

    The SCOTUS would disagree with you! I guess you are saying they are Functionally Illiterate!

  7. William Heino Sr.

    July 11, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    In light of the recent ruling (6/3/21 ) by Federal judge Roger Benitez overturning a California firearms ban on assault weapons where he ruled it violates the Constitutional right to bear arms, his words, referring to the Second Amendment, I have a suggestion. In my thesis regarding the Second Amendment I think it will prove his ruling right to bear arms” has everything to do with a “militia” and nothing to do with a “person” or individual, which the following will suggest..

    Justice Amy Coney Barrett Second Amendment dilemma

    In some 225 years neither law professors, academic scholars, teachers, students, lawyers or congressional legislators after much debate have not been able to satisfactorily explain or demonstrate the Framers intended purpose of Second Amendment of the Constitution. I had taken up that challenge allowing  Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s dilemma to understand the true intent of the Second Amendment.

    I will relate further by demonstration, the intent of the Framers, my understanding using the associated wording to explain. The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Militia, a body of citizens organized for military service.

    If, as some may argue, the Second Amendment’s “militia” meaning is that every person has a right to keep and bear arms, the only way to describe ones right as a private individual is not as a “militia” but as a “person.” (The individual personality of a human being: self)

    The 4th Amendment reminds us, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons….”

    The Article of Confederation lists eleven (11) references to“person/s.” The Constitution lists “person” or “persons” 49 times to explicitly describe, clarify and mandate a constitutional legal standing as to a “person” his or her constitutional duty and rights, what he or she can do or not do.

    It’s not enough to just say “person/s” is mentioned in the United States Constitution 49 times, but to see it for yourself (forgo listing), and the realization was for the concern envisioned by the Framers that every person be secure in these rights explicitly spelled out, referenced and understood how these rights were to be applied to that “person.”

    Whereas, in the Second Amendment any reference to “person” is not to be found. Was there a reason? Which leaves the obvious question, why did the Framers use the noun “person/s” as liberally as they did throughout the Constitution 49 times and not apply this understanding to explicitly convey the same legal standard in defining an individual “persons” right to bear arms as a person?

    Justice Amy Coney Barrett dissent in Barr v Kanter (2019) Second Amendment argument acquiesced to 42 references to “person/s, of which 13 characterize either a gun or firearm. Her Second Amendment, “textualism” approach having zero reference to “person/s. Justice Barrett’s  view only recognizes “person/s” in Barr, as well in her many other 7th circuit rulings. It is her refusal to acknowledge, recognize or connect the U.S. Constitution benchmark legislative interpretive precept language of “person/s,” mandated in our Constitution 49 times, to the Second Amendment.
    Leaving Supreme Court Justice Barrett’s judgment in question.

    In the entire U.S. Constitution “militia” is mentioned 5 times. In these references there is no mention of “person” or “persons.” One reference to “people” in the Second Amendment. People, meaning not a person but persons in describing militia.

    Now comes the word “shall” mentioned in the Constitution 100 times. SHALL; ought to, must ..

    And interestingly, the word “shall” appears in the Second Amendment. “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and shall not be infringed.”

    “[S]hall not be infringed.” Adding another word “infringed” to clarify any misunderstanding as to the intent of the Second Amendment. Infringe. To encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another;

    The condition “Infringe” has put a stop as to any counter thoughts regarding the Second Amendment, as you shall  not infringe or encroach  on beliefs other to what is evident as to the subject “Militia.”

    Clarifying “..the right of the people to keep and bear arms…
    People. Human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by a common interest.

    I am not against guns, everybody has them. I’m against using the Second Amendment illogically as a crutch. If it makes those feel better so be it. Just what it deserves, use it with a wink.

    William Heino Sr

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