As former vice president Joe Biden prepares to launch his 2020 presidential campaign on Thursday, his long public record working for gun control has been consistently in line with the values of today's Democratic Party, but potential political danger lurks for him even on this issue, NBC News reported on Wednesday.
As a Delaware senator and ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Biden voted in favor of the Firearm Owners Protection Act in 1986, which the NRA has called "the law that saved gun rights."
Reflecting a vastly different era decades ago, when compromise was common in the Senate and guns were less of a partisan and emotional issue, the act passed by a wide margin.
It overturned six Supreme Court rulings and various regulations, leaving a legacy as one of the most important gun laws of the past century and a major political boost for the growing gun rights movement.
The act allowed dealers to sell rifles, shotguns and ammunition through the mail and limited federal inspections of firearms dealers while allowing them to sell at gun shows.
Biden praised it at the time 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," adding that “I have never believed that additional gun control or Federal registration of guns would reduce crime.”
Biden spokesman Bill Russo said "Cherry-picking an out of context quote from 1986 doesn't even begin to address Joe Biden's unparalleled record on gun safety. Let's be clear on the facts: Joe Biden took on the NRA and won - twice.”
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