The National Rifle Association was quick to chide President Biden over his son Hunter’s reported firearms misadventures, saying that the Democrat should clean up his own house before cracking down on responsible gun owners.
The NRA Institute for Legislative Action raised concerns about the Secret Service’s alleged involvement in the search for Hunter Biden’s discarded .38-caliber revolver in October 2018, as well as whether the president’s son lied on his background check by denying illegal drug use.
“NRA will continue to monitor this developing story and work to ensure that the federal government’s actions in this case receive the transparency that the American people deserve,” said the NRA-ILA in a Monday post. “Regardless of the outcome, Joe Biden should concern himself with his own family’s irresponsible use of firearms before restricting the rights of responsible law-abiding Americans.”
The NRA cited last week’s Politico report saying that the Secret Service sought Hunter Biden’s background check form from a gun dealer in Wilmington, Delaware, who refused to turn over the Firearms Transaction Record.
Hunter’s father was no longer vice president in October 2018 and therefore not under the Secret Service’s protection.
“Did the federal government attempt to tamper with records that FFLs [federal firearms licensees] are required to keep by federal law in order to protect the son of a well-connected politician?” asked the NRA-ILA.
Others would also like to know. Republican Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin fired off letters Friday seeking information from the Secret Service, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“Notably, neither Joe Biden nor Hunter Biden were a Secret Service protectee at that time,” said the letter. “However, according to this report, a ‘law enforcement official’ claimed that Secret Service agents in Delaware ‘kept an informal hand in maintaining the former vice president’s security.’ If true, USSS must explain to Congress why such informal actions were taken and whether they were necessary in light of the circumstances.”
The senators asked for a “complete response” and “all requested records” by April 8.
Corroborating parts of the Politico report was the New York Post, which said that Hunter Biden provided details about the incident in a Jan. 29, 2019 text message that the newspaper found on the hard drive of the laptop computer that he never picked up after dropping it off for repairs in 2019 at a Wilmington shop.
In the text, Hunter said that Hallie Biden, his then-girlfriend and brother Beau Biden’s widow, threw his gun into a trash can on Oct. 23, 2018, behind the Janssen’s Market grocery store in Wilmington, across the street from a high school.
“She stole the gun out of my trunk lock box and threw it in a garbage can full to the top at Jansens [sic]. Then told me it was my problem to deal with,” said Hunter Biden in the message.
“Then when the police the FBI the secret service came on the scene she said she took it from me because she was scared I would harm myself due to my drug and alcohol problem and our volatile relationship and that she was afraid for the kids,” he said.
The gun was eventually found by a man who regularly scavenged through the trash behind the high-end grocer and handed the weapon over to authorities.
The Secret Service denied any involvement, telling Politico that “U.S. Secret Service records confirm that the agency did not provide protection to any member of the Biden family in 2018, and that the Secret Service had no involvement in this alleged incident.”
The Washington Times has reached out to the Secret Service for comment.
The Form 4473 asks whether the prospective gun buyer is “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.” Federal law also prohibits “an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” from possessing firearms.
Hunter Biden is notorious for his reported and admitted use of illegal drugs, including crack and cocaine, but the NRA pointed out that the background-check question is “somewhat nebulous, and a person can remove themselves from that category at any time by ceasing to use drugs.”
“Whether or not he and his family’s admissions, or other evidence, concerning drug use could give rise to an inference that Hunter was an ‘unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance’ during the time period he acquired and possessed the firearm would be a matter for federal prosecutors to investigate,” said the NRA-ILA. “We’re sure Merrick Garland will be right on it.”
Mr. Garland is the president’s newly confirmed U.S. attorney general.
The president called last week for tougher gun-control restrictions, including stricter background checks and an “assault weapons” ban following the recent mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado.