News & Politics

PolitiFact Claims Joe Biden ‘Doesn’t Want to Ban Handguns,’ But Here Are His Actual Words

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Joe Biden has been pretty clear about his desire to ban handguns.

During his CNN town hall last week, Biden was asked, “So, how will you address gun violence, from a federal point of view, to actually bring about change and make our local cities safer?”

In his response, Biden told the woman who asked the question: “The idea you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon — whether it’s a — whether it’s a 9-millimeter pistol or whether it’s a rifle — is ridiculous. I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things…”

Here’s a video of the exchange:

In response to the tweet from House Republicans declaring that Biden “says he wants to ban handguns,” PolitiFact claims “the clip doesn’t back up the GOP tweet, and the full transcript goes further to sink this claim.”

PolitiFact claims that the numbers cited by Biden “apply to assault-style firearms and high-capacity magazines. As recently as June, when Biden rolled out his strategy to bring down murders, he said he wants to ban both.”

“Experts disagree over what is or isn’t an assault weapon. States set different thresholds for what qualifies as a high-capacity magazine,” PolitiFact continued, before adding, “But regardless of the definition, neither term includes all handguns.”

Did anyone say Biden wants to ban all handguns? Nope. Yet, PolitiFact unwittingly admitted in its analysis that some handguns would be affected by Biden’s gun control proposal. So, does Biden want to ban handguns? He’s publicly indicated that he wants to ban some. There’s no doubt about that.

Yet, PolitiFact rated the claim that Biden wants to ban handguns as “False.” In fairness, they could have gotten away with rating the claim “Half True” because one could argue that the House GOP’s wording wasn’t clear, but they didn’t take Biden’s words out of context. They even showed the video of Biden’s response to the question. Biden may not have said he wanted to ban all handguns, but he clearly said he wants to ban some. Yet, PolitiFact disingenuously rated the claim false, which seems to imply that Biden never said he wanted to ban any handguns at all.