Lawyers, Guns, and Hunter

From the "you can't this stuff up" file.

Via Politico: Could Hunter Biden be the next poster child for Second Amendment rights?

The president’s son is the target of a Justice Department investigation scrutinizing his purchase of a gun in 2018 — a time when he has said he was regularly using crack cocaine. Federal law bans drug users from owning guns.

But the constitutionality of that law — like many other provisions restricting gun ownership — is newly in question after a precedent-rocking decision the Supreme Court handed down almost a year ago.

His lawyers have already told Justice Department officials that, if their client is charged with the gun crime, they will challenge the law under the Second Amendment…

Not to be overly glib, but my mind went immediately to a meme, which I then made:

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, US Politics, , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Long Time Listener says:

    Meme game is strong (and, accurate), here!!

  2. MarkedMan says:

    The meme is funny, but the reality is that most people have little difficulty believing two things at once and modern Republicans live in that space at all times.

  3. Slugger says:

    The libbiest liberal in the world here. Any violations of the laws and regulations of our country committed by Hunter Biden, or any other person, should be adjudicated in an open process that follows the norms of established procedures. People who hold high office or are close to such office holders should be scrutinized closely. We must be aware that false accusations for political gain are common and hard to discourage.

  4. JKB says:

    Who is it that thinks gun purchases by those who are routine illegal drug users is should not be at least limited to special case evaluation? The crime here is Hunter lied on the government background form everyone signs know false claims are perjury and subject to fine or imprisonment.

    Let Hunter’s lawyers challenge the claim. Even if it is unconstitutional to limit habitual drug users from gun purchases, it was still a crime to lie on the form. They prosecute non-Bidens all the time for such a crime. I had to sign such a form, and pay for the background check when I purchased my last shotgun even though the ID I was using was my valid state concealed carry license.

    There is video evidence of Hunter using drugs contemporaneously with him perjuring himself on the ATF to purchase a handgun. Whether an answer of “yes” I routinely use illegal drugs is a constitutional reason to deny a gun purchase is an entirely different question.

  5. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Interesting tidbit found on a ccw website:

    Federal law prohibits medical marijuana users from possessing firearms or ammunition — even if state law allows the drug’s use. Under federal law, any marijuana user is an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

  6. Kazzy says:

    “They prosecute non-Bidens all the time for such a crime.”

    Do they? Really? People are prosecuted for checking “No” on that form when the true answer is “Yes” and they’ve committed no firearms related offense “all the time”? Can you find one such case?

  7. MarkedMan says:

    @JKB: For the most part I agree with you , but I believe that there have been rulings that you don’t have to reply truthfully to questions it is illegal to ask. I know this is true for non-government forms (for instance, employment applications that ask prohibited questions). I don’t know if it has ever been adjudicated for government forms but don’t see any reason why it would be different. I suppose our lawyerly commenters might know for certain.

  8. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    You are 100% correct.
    I will NEVER vote for Hunter Biden. Or even anyone who takes on Hunter Biden as part of the Government.
    But the most interesting thing about the Hunter Biden story is the $2B in cash that the Saudi’s gave to Kushner right after he left the White House, the $1B they gave Mnuchin right after he left Treasury, the $600M+ Ivanka and Jared took in while actually working in the White House, and the 18 trade-marks China gave to Trump’s favorite offspring while she actually worked in the White House.

  9. @JKB: I don’t think you are going to get a lot of disagreement on this count.

    I think (and I think a lot of folks around here think) that it should be harder to obtain guns.

    And, you will note, that it has been a consistent view here by OTB authors that if Hunter is guilty, he should be prosecuted.

  10. @JKB: Wait. Did you think you had a “gotcha” moment going here?

  11. daryl and his brother darryl says:


    They prosecute non-Bidens all the time for such a crime.

    Provide just a single instance of this.

  12. Neil Hudelson says:

    I, for one, concur with JKB that gun control laws need to be more widely enforced.

  13. MarkedMan says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    Provide just a single instance of this

    You’re kidding, right?

  14. MarkedMan says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I also concur with JKB that people with criminal records, even non-violent ones, shouldn’t be able to possess weapons and should face criminal sanctions if they do. I imagine that means JKB agrees with me that the red states are getting this exactly wrong when they are repealing laws prohibiting offenders, even violent ones from buying and possessing guns.

    Amazing, JKB. You are much more reasonable than I would have guessed.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:
  16. Kari Q says:

    Just chiming in to agree that if there is evidence that Hunter Biden broke the law, he should be tried. If convicted, he should be punished in the same way anyone else guilty of the same crime would be.

  17. Modulo Myself says:

    According to this articlethe law is basically a de facto means of gun control.

    Lmao–gun ownership and the drug war, those two great examples of American greatness.

  18. steve says:

    Have never heard of this being enforced. It does mean that about 90% or more of the people in our area with Vote Trump signs on their lawns own their guns illegally.


  19. Gustopher says:

    @Kari Q:

    If convicted, he should be punished in the same way anyone else guilty of the same crime would be.

    I’m ok with him getting a little extra scrutiny and mildly harsher treatment.

    We should be holding public officials and their families to a higher standard, where we aim to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

    This also means greater scrutiny for the Trumplings, and their Saudi adventures.

  20. DK says:


    Who is it that thinks gun purchases by those who are routine illegal drug users is should not be at least limited to special case evaluation?

    Corporate gun lobby shill Republicans, their NRA enslavers, and hack Federalist Society jurists who lie about the words, meaning, and intent of the 2nd Amendment — so they can block gun reforms that would make it more difficult for the mentally ill to join our nation’s well-regulated militia.

    Are you unaware of the ammosexual right’s extreme opposition to sensible gun controls?

  21. Kari Q says:


    This is a fair point. The punishment should be no less than anyone else, and somewhat more severe would be reasonable.