For gun-loving Americans, Hunter Biden’s indictment on Thursday is putting their opposition to firearms restrictions on a collision course with their contempt for a Democratic president who has sought to curb the weapons’ use in response to countless mass shootings.
“Gun Owners of America opposes all gun control, but so long as this President continues to use every tool at his disposal to harass and criminalize guns, gun owners and gun dealers, his son should be receiving the same treatment and scrutiny as all of us,” Erich Pratt, senior vice president of the organization, said in a statement on Thursday.
The statement from Gun Owners of America, one of the largest gun rights groups in the country, suggests how firearm advocates will be threading a needle when discussing the indictment against the president’s son — whom conservatives have been targeting in political attacks in the run-up to the 2024 election. The NRA issued a similar line on how Hunter Biden should be treated.
“Laws should be applied equally against all criminals,” NRA spokesperson Billy McLaughlin told POLITICO in a brief statement.
Hunter Biden was indicted Thursday on three gun-related charges, which stem from his ownership of a pistol during a time when he openly admitted that he used crack cocaine. His lawyers have previously said that they would use the Second Amendment as a defense against such charges.
During his time as president, Joe Biden has shepherded through a bipartisan gun deal that put moderate restrictions on firearms, including funding for state-level “red flag” laws. And he has continued to openly advocate for more legislation to restrict guns, such as banning assault weapons and ratcheting up background checks.
Betsy Woodruff Swan contributed to this report.