“This . . . Should Deeply Trouble Us All”: Hunter Biden Reportedly Planning a Second Amendment Defense

“This . . . should deeply trouble us all.” Those words from President Joe Biden were his response to the Supreme Court reaffirming the individual rights under the Second Amendment in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen in 2022. Now, according to the New York Times, Hunter Biden is preparing a possible Second Amendment defense to gun charges under that very case. The idea of the Bidens going Bruen is only the latest glaring contradiction for the First Family as it struggles to contain the scandals surrounding the son of the President. It appears that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a [Second Amendment claim] is a good guy with a [Second Amendment claim].”

When the Supreme Court handed down Bruen, it was heralded as a great civil liberties victory for gun owners and a great tragedy by gun control advocates. One of the loudest critics was President Biden who expressed his “deep disappointment” and denounced a ruling that he insisted “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution.”

Those nonexistent rights, however, may now benefit his son who is facing clearly false statements contained on a gun form.

Form 4473 is required for gun purchases like the one of Hunter in 2018. It asks:

Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.

Hunter reportedly lied and said “no.” The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms maintains this ban applies to people who have admitted to using illegal drugs in the 12 months before buying a gun. Hunter Biden was using drugs before, during, and after that period.

We previously discussed the issue which became even greater news when it was learned that the gun was tossed into a trash bin in Wilmington by Hallie Biden, widow of the deceased brother of Hunter. After the death of his brother Beau, Hunter began a sexual relationship with Hallie and she apparently became concerned about what he might do with the gun.

President Biden has demanded “red flag” enforcement that would also appear to target the conduct of his own son.

Now, Hunter Biden could be arguing against some of these laws as unconstitutional under a more expansive view of the Second Amendment. While most courts have upheld the ban on drug users, Hunter’s lawyers reportedly told the Justice Department that they will challenge the law under Bruen where a six-justice majority declared that such limitations must be consistent with the practices during the founding period.

This is not the first glaring contradiction to arise under the Hunter Biden scandals. President Biden has long campaigned against “deadbeat Dads,” but did not utter a word of concern when his son spent years resisting recognizing (or supporting) his daughter until a settlement was raised with the help of a court. He is now trying to reduce those payments.  The President and First Lady continue to refuse to acknowledge their granddaughter, Navy, as Hunter opposes her use of the family name.

Biden’s arguments in Arkansas, to paraphrase his new found allegiance, appears to be that “I’ll give you my [more child support] when you pry (or take) it from my cold, dead hands.”

Given his father’s call for greater enforcement of red flag laws and gun controls (including permitting requirements), it will be interesting to see how the Justice Department deals with what appears a knowing violation of the federal gun laws. While this is not the charge that most concerns the White House, it is still a charge that can come with a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

Ironically, when he committed the alleged violation, the penalty was 10 years. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act raised the maximum penalty for that offense to 15 years. The president who enthusiastically signed that law was Joe Biden.

162 thoughts on ““This . . . Should Deeply Trouble Us All”: Hunter Biden Reportedly Planning a Second Amendment Defense”

  1. Jonathan: Boy, you are really clutching at straws. Are you really saying that Hunter Biden’s novel defense to a gun violation charge and Joe Biden’s criticism of the Bruen case show “the first glaring contradiction to arise under the Hunter Biden scandals”? What “scandals”? The fact that Pres, Biden has taken a principled position on gun control and his son’s use of the 2nd Amendment as a defense against a gun charge is not a “scandal”. Hunter is entitled to use whatever defenses are available to a possible gun charge. The fact that you are now talking only about the gun licensing problem indicates Hunter’s tax problem may no longer be an issue. That’s because Hunter has paid all his back taxes and the DOJ doesn’t normally prosecute a taxpayer who has made a good faith effort to pay taxes in arrearage. But that doesn’t mean David Weiss, a Bill Barr appointee, won’t try to prosecute Hunter over the old tax issue.

    You and the GOP got nowhere over Hunter’s new career as a painter. That claim of a “conflict of interest” went nowhere. Same with Hunter’s laptop that you claimed would reveal a vast influence peddling and “corruption scandal”. Now you are focused on Hunter’s Arkansas paternity case in which Hunter is seeking lower child support payments. Normally, a family dispute like this in family court would only draw the attention of gossip columns. It certainly doesn’t illustrate any “corruption” so you apparently joined the ranks of Hedda Hopper in pursuing this Biden family “scandal”. Why a supposed constitutional scholar would sink to the level of Hedda Hopper and her ilk is beyond me.

    But I suppose all this is intended to portray the Biden family in the worst possible–all in an attempt to inflict political damage on Pres. Biden’s chances in the 2024 election. I think Hunter Biden’s many personal and possible legal problems will not be in the mind of voters next year. They will focus on the candidates’ platform–where they stand on the issues important to them. We know Trump’s platform–“Make America Great Again!”. Trump promises that one of his first acts will be to eliminate the 14th Amendment–to basically do away with the Constitution. That will definitely get the attention of voters!

    1. “I think Hunter Biden’s many personal and possible legal problems will not be in the mind of voters next year.” Hunter’s legal problems are intertwined with Joe’s reputation for honesty. Some voters still care about honesty.
      “They will focus on the candidates’ platform–where they stand on the issues important to them.” We know Trump’s platform–“Make America Great Again!”.
      No one pays the slightest attention to platforms. Do you remember anything about the parties’ 1996 platforms? And Make America Great Again” is not a platform but a slogan.
      “Trump promises that one of his first acts will be to eliminate the 14th Amendment–to basically do away with the Constitution.” What an overstatement. Trump has said that he would issue an Executive Order to federal agencies saying that the correct legal interpretation of the “birthright clause” of the 14th Amendment does not apply to illegal aliens. That clause says: “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” It is arguable that illegal aliens are not “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” because they have entered the country contrary to our laws, something the drafters of the Amendment would not have contemplated. Such an Executive Order would probably not survive a court challenge, but it is not an absurd interpretation. It should be remembered that both the Executive and Congressional branches are entitled to interpret the Constitution. Madison himself proposed constitutional legislation when he was President.

    2. dennis says: “I suppose all this is intended to portray the Biden family in the worst possible–all in an attempt to inflict political damage on Pres. Biden’s chances in the 2024 election.”

      dennis, you do know, don’t you, that Biden isn’t capable of campaigning, let alone walking or talking without assistance? Get real, man.

    1. What scandal? What crimes? Who has been found guilty of committing a crime? Cite the individuals found guilty of a crime in court.

      1. Dummy, not all criminals are convicted. The evidence is there and more is coming every day. The dam is breaking and the withholding of evidence game is crumbling.

        Comer wins: FBI relents, agrees to deliver subpoenaed memo alleging Biden bribery to Capitol

        Director Christopher Wray relented and has agreed to bring a subpoenaed document from the Biden family investigation to Capitol Hill for lawmakers to inspect on Monday, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer announced Friday.

        The document in question, an FD-1023, contains uncorroborated allegations that an informant provided the FBI in June 2020 alleging that Joe Biden, when he was vice president, was engaged in a bribery scheme to change US policy in return for $5 million to his family’s businesses, lawmakers have said.

        cont: https://justthenews.com/government/congress/comer-wins-fbi-relents-agrees-deliver-subpoenaed-memo-alleging-biden-bribery?utm_source=breaking&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

      2. The FBI tried to bag Al Capone. They spent years chasing Capone with no success. Finally the treasury department got him on tax evasion. Not all criminals get caught.

  2. This is a well written article. I just have a side point to add regarding Form 4473. It isn’t necessary for the substances cited in the law to impair or affect cognition in any way. Substances such as cannabidiol (commonly called CBD) products are still “controlled substances” under Federal law, even if they don’t cause a “high” or affect cognition, physical responses or reactions, etc.

  3. Turley being the master of distraction when it comes with Trump, now is spinning why Hunter can’t use a defense of the second amendment. The right-wing knows the 2nd is the Holy Grail when it comes to rights. Even if it goes over other rights. If Hunter broke the law, so be it and he will have to deal with it, but Turley spinning somehow that Hunter should not have the rights of others is something he does well, jumping the shark.

  4. If we lose 2nd Amendment rights, Conservatives can blame themselves during the War on Drugs and War on a Tactic (after 9/11). Weakening the constitutional restraints on governing officials.

    So-called “Constitutional Conservatives” on the U.S. Supreme Court passed rulings like “Terry v. Ohio” in 1968 gutting the letter & spirit of the 4th Amendment – which legally requires a “constitutional amendment”.

    Bush Republicans then gutted the remaining Bill of Rights by violating Ronald Reagan’s Torture Treaty – overturning more than 200 years of American history. Bush supporters were disloyal to the values of Ronald Reagan and their own Oath of Office.

    Bush Republicans then deemed the FISA Act meaningless. FISA was the exclusive (one & only legal path) designed for presidents to follow. Bush Republicans turned FISA on it’s head using it to violate Reagan’s Torture Treaty and violate their own Oath of Office.

    The goal of Guantanamo Bay gulag was lawlessness. It’s still open in 2023.The most expensive taxpayer funded in world history per inmate.

    Conservatives themselves have created the perfect legal environment to overturn the 2nd Amendment – can’t blame that on the Democrats!

  5. This does not bother me in the least. It is a way to fight in court and it is open to Hunter. I wonder if someone asked Joe his thoughts on it. As for pointing out the hypocrisy, fair point. Yet, tell me what politician does not walk the same walk. Politicians talk out of both sides of their mouth all of the time. It is what they do.

    As for the legal matter, let it run its course. I am willing to bet nothing comes of it.

    The one area that truly irritates me is the Federal threat over marijuana use. For better or worse (I am personally ambivalent) the country is moving to full legalization of marijuana, slowly but surely. Yet, the Feds hold the sword of Damocles over marijuana users just for being users of a legal product in their state. That to me appears to be an overreach for no other reason than they can. Hunter may not be a good person, but even he does not deserve this treatment.

  6. Ukraine should use Storm Shadow missiles against Russian missile silos so that the Russians cannot launch their ICBMS, the silos filled with rubble.

    1. You, you kids and your grandkids should all be at a recruitment center, enlisting for a combat MOS.
      You, you kids and your grandkids should all be on the front lines when Biden gets us into WWIII.

  7. “God can make the devil do His work for Him.” If it were up to me, or if it had been up to me at the time of the drafting of the Bill of Rights, and if I had had a crystal ball to see into the future, I might have advocated for some form of gun control. But I wasn’t there, and the Founding Fathers were, and they were clear in what they included and what they omitted. It is the job of the Courts simply to apply that and not make up a bunch of scenarios in their individual heads as to what they WISH the Founders had included, but didn’t. If the Biden Crime family occasionally finds itself sheltering under the Constitution, purely by accident, then so be it.

    1. Deborah: no matter how many times Mark Levin repeats the catchphrase “Biden Crime Family”–this does not turn this lie into fact. What indictiment is any member of this “crime family” under? What crimes have any of them comitted, and where’s your proof? If you don’t have any proof, then stop repeating this catchphrase. There is a presidential candidate who IS under indictment and who is being investigated for multiple other crimes–we all know who that is. Fox came up with the “Biden Crime Family” lie to offset the true crimes committed by the fat orange puppet of Putin.

      The founding fathers spoke of a “militia”, not any supposed “right” of individuals to possess any kind of firearm. It’s ultra right wing courts that metatastasized the word “militia” into some kind of individual “right” to have and carry firearms–and, we see the fallout every single day with more and more shootings and deaths due to gun violence.

  8. Dear Prof Turley,

    One would be hard pressed to find a law Joe Biden opposes now that he did not support in the past. After the Civil War, Biden opposed public school integration. Today, ‘if you vote for Trump, you ain’t black’.

    The man changes his tune like other people change underwear. Human tissue over the latest nuro-link metal alloy, he feels no shame, regret, pain or pity.

    Joe Biden’s past is the epitome of all the problems he vows to overcome in the future. Build back better and finish the job.

    *speaking of BBB “LaHood suggested *new criminal consequences* for lying or omitting information to the FISA court so that “people would be put in prison.” .. . because the old criminal consequences for lying to the FISA court are clearly not working. ~ see also the Durham Report ‘nothingburger’

  9. Why should one lose their 2A right if they commit (even if not convicted) of unrelated minor crimes? You do not lose your right to free speech if you shoplift.

    1. You do lose your free speech if you voice a conservative view, i.e Pro Life. You may recieve threats and physical opposition as well.

      1. On that note, we plan on watching the new Padre Pio film with Shia LaBeouf tonight, as my spouse is a convert. No I was not the sponsor. Padre Pio is an incredible example of a man plagued with conflict, fighting one’s inner demons, yet sought holiness in an unholy world. Reviewed here. That the New York Times, New Yorker, et al trash the film is proof that it is a powerful film. Darkness hates light, evil detests good, Democrats reject Truth


        1. I previously complained about Estovir having the arrogance to even mention the name of Padre Pio, given his devotion to a malignant narcissist, chronic liar, misogynist, xenophobe, islamophobe and racist, but my comment was taken down. He has the absolute gall, in the same post mentioning Padre Pio, to say: “Darkness hates light, evil detests good, Democrats reject Truth.” What could be more evil than malignant narcissism–someone whose massive ego demands attention, adulation and power, so he undermines a centuries-old democracy by cheating his way into office by using Russian hacker to spread lies about his opponent, pandering to xenophobia and racism by lying about Mexico paying to build a wall, someone who calls migrants “murderers, rapists, animals and vermin”, who brags about getting away with molesting women, who praised a murderous dictator who invaded a peaceful country, calling him “genius”? Estovir actually invokes the name of Padre Pio, who bore the stigmata for 50 years, and uses his name to accuse Democrats of “rejecting Truth”, when he supports a failed political candidate who began, even before Election Day, lying about his imaginary “landslide victory”, who stirred up his fans to attack our Capitol, who paid hush money to an adult actress and falsified campaign finance records, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman, and who tried to get the GA Secretary of State to falsify election records to award him votes he didn’t receive. AND, invoking the name of Padre Pio, he accuses DEMOCRATS of “rejecting Truth”? He also uses Padre Pio to get in a dig at the NYT. Estovir: you need to see a priest.

    2. I hope he wins this, that would make all elitist staters/Dems very unhappy…….LOL.
      If you break certain laws you do not get to have a legal right to own a gun. Is it reasonable to not allow a heroin user who is out of their mind 24/7 to purchase a gun legally? As is restricting a found guilty violent felon to own a gun legally, but we all know lots of them do anyway? So restricting and forcing law abiding citizens to jump through hoops to own a gun makes zero sense when criminals can buy a gun on the street and carry it in 1 day. It currently takes month’s to get an FOID, 16 hours classroom, pass shooting test, pass 3 background checks, pay hundreds of dollars before getting a conceal carry licenses in IL. When the thug can be armed and carrying in 1 day.
      How about getting arrested and possibly losing your freedom for burning a pride flag, but not the US flag? It is a hate crime punishable by prison for burning a pride flag? If it is not your flag it is one thing, but a hate crime? A school just had a incident where a plant that had a 4×6″ pride flag in it was burned and is being investigated as a “vandalism hate crime”. Consistent application of laws is all we are asking for.

  10. It would seem that federal “Form 4473” could be argued as blatantly unconstitutional. The federal government (executive branch) has no authority to violate the 2nd Amendment either and in this context the state law should supersede the federal law. It’s not an authority explicitly granted to federal executive branch agencies.

    Then there is the issue of marijuana use itself under the 9th Amendment (unnamed rights). Marijuana use itself predates most marijuana laws (state & federal).

    Under the 14th Amendment (equal treatment) – based on hard statistics – is marijuana use more dangerous than legal alcohol use? Alcohol use seems to facilitate aggressive violent acts, where marijuana has the opposite effect of most drugs.

    Under “Citizens United” marijuana-corporations (corporate-citizens) could argue for equal treatment as other corporate-citizens selling more dangerous drugs.

    1. Reagan’s unenforced torture treaty-I think you possibly should read more recent studies of marijuana use, both episodic and chronic. It does not have the “opposite effect of most drugs.” That is a standard apology for using marijuana, “it’s harmless”. It’s a drug and as a drug like any other chemical in our bodies (which are basically a walking biochemical factory with an organic computer) they can have positive and negative effects, often individually specific. I would certainly never ride knowingly in a car or be beside someone with a handgun or rifle who is drinking alcohol or smoking weed. You don’t operate heavy equipment while drinking alcohol or smoking weed or anything else that affects judgement if you wish to stay alive for very long. Since Judgement seems to be an optional characteristic of recent humanity staying sober might be the best policy, even if life might be a little less exciting. It can sill be very rewarding.

    2. and in this context the state law should supersede the federal law. It’s not an authority explicitly granted to federal executive branch agencies.
      14th ammendment, incorporation.

    3. Substance ingestion is a constitutional, natural and God-given right and freedom.

      Bodily injury and property damage are violations of constitutional law.

      9th Amendment

      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

  11. Verrry interrresting…..but stoopid!! How the 2nd Amendment protects an individual faced with the charges remains to be seen. It may turn out to be a boon to gun owners, much to the dismay of the POTUS.

  12. The Biden’s and Hunter, in particular, may be immoral and corrupt but, much as it pains me, they still have the right to legal counsel and to plea their case. Of course that still would suggest that they have to win. Hypocrisy is still not a crime and the law is there for the best and worst of us.
    I think they are going to try the spaghetti defense and throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. Nice to be rich and have money to burn, literally and the DOJ in your pocket.
    It’s like Robespierre pleading that he only executed evil people and enemies of the state, but he, himself was really an OK guy. It was the Committee of Public Safety that was the real culprit. They also argued that they were just fulfilling the view of the French Enlightenment, till you disagreed with their sea of blood.
    Oh and Robespierre was an Attorney. I guess he forgot what Shakespeare wrote about lawyers☠️. Henry II, part 2.

  13. There is one, only one, plausible answer to why the government ignores the tsunami of evidence uncovering Hunter Biden’s crimes. He must be what the FBI used to call a “Top Echelon” informant. As we learned from the James “Whitey” Bulger case, TE informants can do whatever they please, including murder, extortion, drug trafficking, gun possession, etc., as long as they please their handlers who may or may not be on the take themselves (Bulger’s FBI handler went to jail for covering up one of Whitey’s murder). Ironically, while we’re on the subject, James “Whitey” Bulger’s nephew, a man by the same name, Jim Bulger, in 2014, according to Hunter’s laptop, forwarded to Hunter an email from Mike “Lenny” Leonard, an associate of Bulger who at the time was chairman of the Boston-based Thornton Group. The subject of the email was “Meeting with Chinese Ambassador” and the text from Lenny suggested that the group, likely including Hunter, meet in Washington, D.C. “to talk about the fund.” The Big Guy was Veep at the time when his kid Hunter, the Thornton Group, and Chris Heinz’s Washington-based Rosemont Seneca investment fund (named for the Heinz family estate near Pittsburgh) were doing business with the Chinese government. As I see it, there could only be one thing keeping all this covert chicanery from being exposed and that would be a deep intel probe by the FBI into the shenanigans (a technical legal term) of the CCP with respect to the CCP penetration of the U.S. Government. The fly in the ointment, though, is the FBI. Can we trust it to be on the level this time or has it allowed Jim Bulger, the younger, to take over for his infamous uncle, Jim “Whitey” Bulger, the older, who we now know owned and operated the FBI for many years? Whitey’s tracks were covered by his TE status with the FBI and what better way would there be today to cover the tracks of Hunter and his pals than giving them the same FBI status? Even the Big Guy gets a pass as cooperating with the cooperators. Is this a great country or what?

  14. The left constantly get caught in unintended consequences. The many leftist gun restriction laws showcase this. Passing laws the are in direct opposition to the Constitution, and SCOTUS precedent, get overturned, creating an ever increasing catalogue of legal rulings further cementing the very actions the left wants to eliminate.
    Here if the defense used is successful, it creates precedent, calling into question the actions of the administrative state. All regulations then must first clear the hurdle of enumerated rights.
    Seeing as the left wields much of its power through the administrative state,(Thanks Chevron) and not legislation, the power balance shifts.

  15. Does it really matter? A man who doesn’t claim his own child says it all about the man.

  16. This will be quietly handled by the DOJ. And in the off chance an overly enthusiastic Assistant U.S. Attorney files charges against Hunter in a moment of pique, AG Merrick Garland is already working on the dismissal order. Won’t be a problem. Thank you, Jonathan, for an excellent article.

  17. The irony is right!

    “Biden’s arguments in Arkansas, to paraphrase his new found allegiance, appears to be that Navy “I’ll give you my [more child support] when you pry (or take) it from my cold, dead hands.””
    HA! HA!
    Good one professor!

  18. While the Bidens are clearly immoral and corrupt, relying on SCOTUS precedent to defend against a charge of wrongdoing is not corrupt or immoral. In fact it is his lawyer’s professional responsibility to do so. It makes no difference if the defendant or his father has previously railed against that precedent. It is still the law of the land and can (and should) be relied on in court.

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