Montana attorney general to sue Biden administration over gun executive order

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FIRST ON FOX — Republican Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is prepping a lawsuit against the Biden Administration over its gun violence executive order, saying the president “should know better” than to enact “draconian gun control measures.”

Knudson tells Fox Digital that his office is waiting for the Biden Administration to act on its order — which President Biden calls a “whole-of-government approach” to “pursue every legally available and appropriate action” to combat gun violence. 

The White House said it wants to utilize federal agencies to promote red flag laws, expand background checks and collect more information on federally licensed firearms dealers.

“They don’t dare say it out loud, but what they’re talking about is going after private firearm transactions and trying to require Americans to do a background check on every private firearms transfer,” said Knudson. “Well, as nice sounding as that might be, what do we know about criminals? They don’t follow the law, and they don’t get their firearms from retailers. They steal guns.”

BIDEN ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE ORDER TO EXPAND GUN BACKGROUND CHECKS, CALLS ON LAWMAKERS TO GO FARTHER

Between 2017 and 2021, privately made firearms submitted to ATF increased by 1,083 percent, with 37,980 firearms traced, according to the National Firearms Commerce and Trafficking Assessment. 

“A firearm is no different . . . than a lot of other personal property in America,” said Knudson. “When I give my 14-year-old son a shotgun for his birthday, do I have to go through a background check, and does he have to go through a background check? The answer to that is no. I’m his father, and I’m able to give him a gift. That happens all over in this country.”

However, Biden says that the order is geared to protect the safety of children and has called for Congress to go further and pass universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons. 

“We will no longer allow the interests of the gun manufacturers to win out over the safety of our children and Nation,” Biden said during a visit to Monterey, California Tuesday.

Biden acknowledged the limits on his own power when announcing the executive actions Tuesday, saying that his use of executive authority did not “absolve” Congress from what he called its responsibility to enact broader background check laws and “eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.”

However, with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives and the slim majority held by Democrats in the Senate, Knudson does not believe the president has the support to pass broader gun control legislation.

“He doesn’t have the votes in the Senate to do any of these panacea gun control things that he wants to do. So what’s he doing? He’s running to his administrative state,” said Knudson. 

The order requires federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation, to each draft a response to the executive action with 180 days. Knudson says that as the agencies formulate how they will implement the policy, how he will mount a legal challenge will become clearer. 

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