Strident opponents of gun control laws changed their tune Tuesday after a proposed plea agreement for Hunter Biden included a Pretrial Diversion Agreement on a federal firearms charge.
Under the tentative deal – agreed to by Trump-appointed Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss – the president’s son would “plead guilty to two minor tax crimes and admit to the facts of a gun charge under terms that would likely keep him out of jail, according to court papers filed Tuesday,” the Washington Post reported.
“Handling the gun charge as a diversion case means Biden will not technically be pleading guilty to that crime,” the Post reported. “Diversion is an option typically applied to nonviolent offenders with substance abuse problems.”
Pro-gun advocates didn’t want to hear about leniency for someone found guilty of illegal gun possession – despite many of them celebrating a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that found drug users still had Second Amendment rights.
The Gun Owners of America, described by NPR as the nation’s “original no-compromise gun rights organization” opposing virtually all gun laws, didn’t object to voicing off against what many Republicans called Biden’s “sweetheart deal.”
The group complained in a tweet that “Hunter Biden just skirted 10+ years of federal prison with a cozy plea deal of two years’ probation for his “gun crimes” from his father’s Justice Department. Meanwhile Donald Trump was forced to register his firearms to avoid Biden’s tyrannical pistol ban. This is the anti-gunners system of justice.”
The American Firearms Association, which proudly opposes all gun control laws and has called for repeal of the bipartisan National Firearms Act passed last year, also didn’t object to gun-law enforcement in this case. It tweeted “Hunter Biden gets a sweetheart deal you get 10 years in jail.”
Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), a proud NRA supporter, tweeted, “any other American would have the book thrown at them. The president’s son gets a slap on the wrist.” (Vance’s “fact-free assertion” was corrected by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.).
Conservative commentator Katie Pavlich, a longtime critic of background checks, tweeted “Lying on a federal firearm background check carries up to 10 years in prison and is a felony. Not for Hunter Biden.”
Contrary to these and countless other similar claims from conservatives today, the federal government seldom prosecutes the gun-related crime for which Biden was offered the diversion program, according to a 2022 analysis of data by the Washington Post.
“According to newly revealed Justice Department records, the odds of being charged for lying on this form are virtually nonexistent. In the 2019 fiscal year, when Hunter Biden purchased his gun, federal prosecutors received 478 referrals for lying on Form 4473 — and filed just 298 cases, according to data extracted from the U.S. attorneys’ case management system. That’s out of approximately 27 million background checks undertaken in a 12-month period.”