During a debate over the Firearms Owners Protection Act, then-Senate Judiciary Committee member Joe Biden (D-DE) sided with Republicans and the NRA in passing the bill, arguing that criminals can get firearms “with or without gun control” on July 9, 1985, reported Breitbart.
The Judiciary Committee concurred with Joe Biden’s position and passed the Firearms Owners Protection Act, according to NBC News.
As NBC News notes, the Firearms Owners Protection Act was passed overwhelmingly by Congress and remains to this day a key moment in the history of gun rights advocacy in the United States. It overturned six Supreme Court rulings and numerous regulations, cementing it as one of the most consequential gun laws in American history.
NBC News also notes further:
“The measure allowed dealers to sell rifles, shotguns and ammunition through the mail, and, eventually, the internet. It limited federal inspections of firearms dealers while allowing them to sell guns at gun shows, which helped them grow in size and popularity. And it made it easier for private collectors to sell guns without obtaining a federal dealers’ license, which would play a role in what later became known as the “gun show loophole.” (It also banned machine guns, thanks to an amendment slipped in by House Democrats at the last minute.)”
The Congressional Record for the Senate on July 9, 1985, quotes Biden describing the Firearms Protection Act as a “balanced piece of legislation that protects the rights of private gun owners while not infringing on law enforcement’s ability to deal with those who misuse guns or violate laws.”
Biden continued, “During my 12 and a half years as a member of this body, I have never believed that additional gun control or federal registration of guns would reduce crime. I am convinced that a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, nontraceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control.”
Biden’s current gun control agenda stands as a serious deviation from his previous gun stances in 1985. On June 2, 2022, President Biden advocated for eight different gun control measures, including an entire ban on a politically-defined category of firearms which Democrats call “assault weapons.”