June 20, 2023
NSSF Criticizes DOJ Deal for Hunter Biden’s Gun Crimes
WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, criticizes the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) plea agreement with Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, to avoid prosecution for illegally possessing a firearm as an admitted drug user. The agreement comes at the same time the Biden administration is punishing firearm retailers by revoking licenses and terminating livelihoods for minor clerical errors with its “zero-tolerance” policy.
The Biden administration and the Attorney General Merrick Garland-led DOJ are more interested in appealing to special-interest gun control donors than they are concerned with upholding the law. This agreement fuels Americans’ concerns that the Biden administration supports two systems of justice – one that protects the Biden administration, the Biden family and its political allies and another that doles out punishments for those who oppose the Biden administration’s policies.
“Under this administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy, licensed firearm retailers have had their lives destroyed for paperwork mistakes far less egregious than buying a gun when you are a crack addict,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “They are not serious about reducing gun violence, only scoring cheap political points. It is worth noting this announcement came today, after President Biden’s appearance in Hartford last Friday to call for gun control.”
President Biden appeared at the National Safer Communities Summit in Hartford, Conn., during which he again called on Congress to pass unconstitutional gun control measures that would ban an entire class of commonly-owned semiautomatic rifles and for suing members of the firearm industry.
Hunter Biden’s plea agreement to misdemeanor tax offenses allows him to avoid federal felony charges for lying on a background check form when he purchased a firearm. Hunter Biden was an illegal user of crack cocaine at the time, which makes him ineligible to legally purchase or possess a firearm. The punishment for the felony offense of lying on a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Form 4473 is up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The firearm Hunter Biden purchased was later disposed of in a public trash can.
NSSF is frustrated by this no prosecution agreement, especially since the firearm industry partners with the DOJ and ATF to prevent illegal straw purchases through the Don’t Lie for the Other GuyTM program. That program informs the public that the punishment for lying on a background check to purchase a firearm for another who can’t legally purchase a firearm is a federal crime that carries up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.