Joe Biden Admits He Lacks ‘Executive Authority’ to Ban ‘Assault Weapons’

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - DECEMBER 07: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden pulls down his face mask to tell reporters that he will announce his pick for secretary of the Department of Defense on Friday as he leaves the Queen Theater on December 07, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden is expected to announce …
Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Joe Biden admitted he lacks “executive authority” to ban “assault weapons” when the subject was broached during a December 8, 2020, meeting with civil rights leaders.

An audio recording of the meeting was shared by The Intercept’s De-Constructed, and listeners can hear Biden respond to calls for aggressive executive action by assuring the leaders that where possible, he will use executive authority to “undo every damn thing [President Trump] has done by executive authority.”

Biden said, “But I’m not going to exercise executive authority where it’s questioned.” He then referenced doing away with “assault weapons” and said, “There’s no executive authority to do away with that.”

He added, “No one’s fought harder to get rid of ‘assault weapons’ than me, but you can’t do it by executive order. You do that and the next guy comes along and says, ‘Well, guess what, by executive order…everybody can own machine guns again.'”

Biden’s admissions about the limits of executive authority regarding firearms which Democrats label as “assault weapons” points to a scenario where he would have to rely on Senators and U.S. Representatives to pass a ban he could sign.

Breitbart News reported that Associated Press addressed this scenario, noting that Biden’s fight for gun control would be an uphill battle.

The “assault weapons” ban and other gun controls being sought by the left, with the exception of red flag laws, are basically the same controls Democrats have been pursuing since the early 1990s. And the AP reported “it will be a tall order to get a majority of lawmakers on board,” regardless of which party controls Congress.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at You can sign up to get Down Range at



Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.