Awkward: Joe Biden to Speak at Gun Safety Conference Mere Hours After Hunter’s Guilty Verdict

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

Just a couple hours after his son Hunter was found guilty on three federal gun charges, Joe Biden is set to speak at  Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund’s “Gun Sense University” conference.

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And even CNN is noting that the timing is particularly awkward for him.

While it’s an important topic for the president’s reelection run, the speech comes at an awkward moment politically and personally for the Biden family: The president’s son, Hunter Biden, was found guilty Tuesday morning of three felonies related to lying on federal forms that require gun purchasers to affirm they are not addicted to drugs while buying a handgun in 2018 when he was in the midst of a serious addiction to crack cocaine.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the timing of Biden’s address and his son’s federal trial Tuesday morning.

While Biden has largely avoided commenting on his son’s trial - he said in an interview last week that he would respect the trial’s outcome and would not pardon his son - the verdict is sure to be at the top of his mind on Tuesday. The president is known to be passionately defensive of his family and sensitive to outside criticism of his son’s troubled history.

Related: BREAKING: Verdict Reached in Hunter Biden Trial

Hunter was convicted on three federal felony charges related to the unlawful purchase and possession of a firearm while struggling with his addiction to crack cocaine. Federal statutes explicitly prohibit individuals using illegal substances from owning firearms. He potentially faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison along with fines. However, since he is a first-time offender, the likelihood of him serving jail time is low.

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Joe Biden responded to the verdict in a statement soon after it was announced. 

“As I said last week, I am the President, but I am also a Dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today," Biden said. "So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery."

Related: What the Heck Happened to Joe Biden at the WH Juneteenth Celebration?

CNN pointed out that Biden will attempt to separate himself from this personal drama as he speaks about gun control, a subject he considers pivotal to his political career. 

As a senator, the president helped get an assault weapons ban passed through Congress in the 1990s and has promised to do so again. He also frequently touts signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was the first significant gun safety legislation in a quarter-century when it was passed.

That act, which was signed into law by Biden almost two years ago, was created in the wake of massacres at a Texas elementary school and a New York supermarket. It established new criminal offenses for the straw-purchasing of firearms by buyers who lie about the gun’s intended owner, among other provisions.

Biden has pushed for universal background checks of gun purchases, increased red-flag laws that allow law enforcement to confiscate guns from those deemed a threat to safety, and a ban on assault weapons. He has said he would make those efforts a priority if he were to attain a second term.

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I wonder how that is going to work out.

Ironically, Hunter Biden has taken pro-Second Amendment positions as part of his defense, including opposition to his father's gun control policies. 

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