SHARP: The Hidden Gun Control Dangers of the Hunter Biden Trial

by | Jun 5, 2024 | Opinion

I had the opportunity on Tuesday to sit inside a Delaware courtroom and observe the Hunter Biden trial.  I was seated in the third row directly next to the Washington Post, and as an independent journalist, I appeared to be the only one directly covering the trial who was not a member of the mainstream media.

I am intrigued by this trial for a multitude of reasons. Among them is the fact that as a former gun shop owner and FFL, I am very familiar with the firearm sales process.  

There were a few notable callouts made by the defense on Tuesday that I believe could be bad for gun retailers across the nation, as the ATF under Biden has made engaging in the firearms business substantially difficult. The trial centers around Hunter Biden’s purchase of a Colt revolver and his drug use at the time of purchase and while he owned the firearm. The legal issues arise for Hunter on his answer to a specific question from form 4473. 

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Hunter stated on 10/18/1023 that he was not a user or addicted to any controlled substance, however his text and WhatsApp messages from both days before and after his firearms purchase show a different story.  

Form 4473 is required on every firearms transfer made by a federally licensed dealer. It is the most commonly used item in every gun store in America as every weapons purchase requires it to be completed. What I find concerning are specific points mentioned by the defense.  The defense pointed out that when Hunter Biden filled out his form 4473 he did not have a driver license so he used a passport as his form of ID.  The defense pointed out that the clerk at the store checked with another employee to see of the passport.

The issue with this is that there is much debate if a passport qualifies as proof of address. There is no proof of address required when receiving a passport, so most entities will not accept passports as proof of address. Proof of address is required on all gun transfers as gun laws vary from state to state.

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My worry is that this simple issue will be used as a way for the ATF under Joe Biden to further infringe on the ability for gun retailers to conduct business.

Impacting the ability of retailers to engage in business will substantially impact the ability of Americans to keep and bear arms. As a former gun dealer, this caught my attention immediately. Was this courtroom dialogue or will this be a bigger issue as Hunter Biden’s trial progresses?

Follow Tim Sharp on X at @realtimsharp.

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