Key Point: The Justice Department has said that Hunter Biden will be indicted on a weapons charge, but a recent Supreme Court decision indicates that he might not have committed the crime at all.
Hunter Biden Now in the Clear?
The modern-day conservative movement has a couple of prominent goals: To punish Hunter Biden and to make gun ownership less restrictive. Thanks to a 2022 Supreme Court decision, the latter may soon get in the way of the former.
The president’s son, following a collapsed plea agreement this summer, will be hit by the end of September with a weapons charge, the Justice Department said in a legal filing this week. Hunter Biden will reportedly be charged with lying on an application form when he purchased a gun, in stating that he was an “unlawful user” of drugs. The younger Biden had purchased a Colt Cobra .38 Special in Delaware in 2018, at a time in his life when he was still actively using drugs.
But there are reasons to think the charge won’t actually stick.
According to multiple press accounts, including The New Republic, the U.S. Supreme Court, and later a lower court, “may have already overturned the law Biden allegedly violated.”
“ Last year, the Supreme Court significantly loosened gun control laws when the conservative majority ruled that Americans have a general right to arm themselves in public. Biden’s lawyers have already argued that the ruling makes trying to prosecute the first son on gun charges pointless,” the TNR story said.
The case was New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen when the court struck down New York state’s system of concealed-carry licenses on Second Amendment grounds.
Beyond that, a Fifth Circuit appeals court ruled last month that drug users should not be automatically banned from gun ownership, in the process it overturned a Mississippi man’s criminal conviction. And the Supreme Court next year is expected to hear a case involving whether laws banning domestic abusers from owning guns is constitutional.
Reason magazine wrote in mid-August that Hunter “could go to prison under an arbitrary gun law his dad supports.”
“The collapse of that agreement could set up yet another legal test of a constitutionally dubious law that at least two judges and a federal appeals court have deemed inconsistent with the Second Amendment. That case would pit Biden against his own father, who steadfastly supports an irrational gun policy that could send his son to prison,” writer Jacob Sollum wrote.
So ironically, under the gun rights regime favored by the Republican Party, Hunter Biden would be more likely to walk, while under the one Democrats would prefer, he would be more likely to end up convicted.
CNN this week reported on what the Democrats’ strategy might be, as the House GOP seems likely to move forward with an impeachment inquiry into President Biden over his son’s overseas business dealings.
“While House Democrats are confident they can defend President Joe Biden against a potential impeachment inquiry, many wish for a clearer strategy against GOP allegations on a known sensitive topic in the West Wing: Hunter Biden,” the CNN story said.
“I fear we are missing an opportunity here to put Republicans back on their heels, to say it is pretty sick that someone who is in recovery and trying to redeem themselves is subjected to these political attacks for something that happened before Joe Biden was president and with no evidence that Joe Biden did anything wrong,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), told CNN about the impeachment plans, which are being driven by the Republicans’ right flank in Congress.
One Congressman said there’s a wish that the White House would give them help with defending the president.
“We aren’t getting any information to help respond or defend the president and his family,” said the lawmaker, who did not use their name. “Not exactly a rapid response operation.”
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.
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