President Joe Biden speaks at an Everytown conference on June 11th, 2024
President Joe Biden speaks at an Everytown conference on June 11th, 2024 / White House

Biden Pushes Gun-Control Message in Latest Ad

President Joe Biden has amplified his push for new gun restrictions headed into the 2024 election.

In a new 30-second ad released this week, Biden hit former president Donald Trump on gun policy. He also touted the gun restrictions his administration has adopted.

“When Trump was president— children gunned down in classrooms, innocent people killed in church and massacred at a concert. Still, Trump did nothing,” Biden says in the ad. “He sided with the NRA, but I sided with you. I’ve expanded background checks, created an office of gun violence prevention, and now murder rates are down.”

The ad is the Biden Campaign’s latest effort to highlight the significant gap between the current and former president on gun policy. Leaning into Biden’s aggressive gun-control positioning could help reignite support among Democratic base voters, who have been less than thrilled with his first term. However, it risks turning off less liberal swing voters or even some of the traditional Democrats who became new gun owners over the past few years.

The campaign has largely ignored the latter concern throughout this election. In fact, in its announcement of the new ad, the Biden Campaign doubled down on the call for a new ban on AR-15s and other popular firearms.

“If you care about the gun violence crisis in this country, there is only one candidate in this race with a proven record of successfully taking on the gun lobby and only one candidate who will ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” Biden communications director Michael Tyler told The Hill, which broke news of the ad. “That’s President Biden.”

The Trump Campaign hasn’t announced any gun-focused ads. However, the Second Amendment Foundation recently announced a new nationwide ad attacking Biden on guns. Alan Gottlieb, the group’s founder, told The Reload it would run across cable, including on stations like CNN and Fox News, but wouldn’t say how much money is going into the effort.

“Joe Biden wants to strip the US Constitution of Americans’ right to keep and bear arms,” the 60-second ad said. “He is determined to take away your Second Amendment rights before leaving office.”

Through the end of last month, NPR estimated ad spending has already topped $70 million. The vast majority of that has gone into just seven contested battleground states, with Pennsylvania seeing the biggest ad buys. Most of the spending has also centered on a handful of issues, with immigration and crime being the biggest.

Guns haven’t landed on that list.

However, the Supreme Court injected some new life into firearms policy last week when it struck down the bump stock ban. The ruling turned attention back to guns and drew an attempt at passing new legislation to outlaw the devices. That failed, but the controversy is likely to persist, and it, along with The Court’s forthcoming Second Amendment ruling in US v. Rahimi, may make guns a more prominent issue in the election.

“Congress must ban bump stocks, pass an assault weapon ban, and take additional action to save lives,” Biden wrote on social media. “Send a bill to my desk. I will sign it immediately.”

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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