In a PR stunt gone terribly wrong, former President Donald Trump went gun shopping on Monday with Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and asked to buy a Glock pistol on camera—which would have brazenly violated the very same law that recently landed Hunter Biden criminal charges.
Federal law prohibits anyone under indictment from attempting to buy a firearm. Trump has been criminally indicted four times in as many jurisdictions—Atlanta, Miami, New York, and Washington—facing dozens of felony charges that could land him in prison for decades.
“I wanna buy one,” Trump said while taking a tour of Palmetto State Armory, a federally licensed gun dealer in South Carolina that's widely revered by firearm enthusiasts.
“Sir, if you want one, this one’s yours,” a person on the tour said, seeming to divert the president away from making an actual purchase.
“No, I wanna buy one,” Trump insisted.
It only added to the fiasco when those present pulled South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson into the photo op—as well as his brother, Julian Wilson, an executive at the private equity company that owns the gun dealer. They are both Republican Congressman Joe Wilson’s sons.
The disaster started when Trump's campaign spokesperson, Steven Cheung, tweeted that his boss actually went through with the sale.
"President Trump purchases a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!" he posted Monday afternoon.
But the campaign went into damage control mode as soon as firearms journalist Stephen Gutowski and others pointed out that the entire transaction would be blatantly illegal.
“Did he actually go through with the purchase?” Gutowski asked openly in tweet.
Cheung later claimed to CNN that Trump never actually went through with the purchase—and deleted his original statement. The Daily Beast could not immediately independently confirm whether Trump finalized the deal.
President Trump doing a little shopping in South Carolina!
He will protect our great Second Amendment!! pic.twitter.com/Qs6Imc8LEb
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) September 25, 2023
The irony is that the federal law Trump appeared to almost violate is the very same one that the feds used to indict President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
The federal law that restricts how someone may buy or sell firearms is 18 U.S. Code § 922, the go-to statute for prosecutors seeking to imprison felons who manage to acquire guns after serving time in prison, straw purchasers who buy a gun with the specific intent to sell it to another person, and other people who aren’t allowed to acquire them. That law is why anyone buying a gun from a licensed dealer must fill out what's called an ATF Form 4473, which asks: “Are you under indictment or information in any court for a felony, or any other crime for which the judge could imprison you for more than one year, or are you a current member of the military who has been charged with violation(s) of the Uniform Code of Military?”
Answer “yes,” and no gun shop can legally sell you a gun. Trump, who is facing criminal charges across the eastern seaboard, would have to answer in the affirmative.
Republicans—and Trump in particular—have been calling on the Department of Justice to hold Hunter Biden accountable for violating the same statute, in his case, for lying about drug use on that form.