A bipartisan group of Congress members is advocating for more consistent enforcement of the gun charge used to convict Hunter Biden. This discussion follows a rare application of the gun-related statute, which legal experts note is seldom employed by prosecutors.

Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, a senior Judiciary Committee member, emphasized the potential community safety benefits of stricter enforcement. “I think they have not been pursuing gun charges. I think we could do a lot to make our communities safer if the DOJ would more actively prosecute gun violations,” Cornyn stated.

Senator John Kennedy, R-La., also supported the idea of using the firearm charge more frequently. He underscored the severity of Biden’s case, noting, “What makes this situation so egregious is that Mr. Biden got the gun, and he had the gun, and he would have had the gun for a while had … his girlfriend at the time not thrown it away.”

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, was charged last year for falsely stating he was not an unlawful user or addicted to drugs when purchasing a firearm in 2018. This week, a jury found him guilty of “knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement, intended and likely to deceive that dealer with respect to a fact material to the lawfulness of the sale of the firearm.” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., remarked, “A jury found it compelling that he clearly lied on the form while being a drug addict. And he should not have been able to purchase a gun… I do think that law ought to be enforced more often because it will save lives.”

However, not all lawmakers agree. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., argued against the severity of the charge on X, saying, “Hunter might deserve to be in jail for something, but purchasing a gun is not it… none of them should be in jail for purchasing or possessing a firearm against current laws.”

Other lawmakers, like Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., expressed ambivalence, citing a lack of awareness about current prosecution rates and suggesting the infrequency of such charges might be due to competing priorities. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., downplayed the significance of the charge, suggesting it was minor compared to other allegations Biden faces.

The gun charge against Hunter Biden was initially part of a plea deal with special counsel David Weiss’ office, which U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika rejected. The plea agreement included Biden’s acknowledgment of his addiction to crack cocaine at the time of the gun purchase.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., a proponent of stricter gun laws, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., echoed the call for more vigorous enforcement. Blumenthal stated, “Typically, our gun safety laws are inadequately enforced because of lack of attention and resources, so much stronger, more vigorous enforcement is absolutely one of the answers to gun violence prevention.”

A Pew Research Center study from September highlighted a partisan divide on gun acquisition ease; 86% of Democrats believe it’s too easy to legally obtain a gun, compared to just 34% of Republicans.

Reflecting on his time as a prosecutor, Blumenthal reinforced his stance: “I’ve advocated for years and years that these laws be more rigorously enforced. When I was a United States attorney, I enforced them. They are often — in fact, almost always — associated with other criminal conduct. They’re part of drug operations or other kinds of illicit activity, typically.”

This renewed focus on gun law enforcement comes at a time when Americans are increasingly concerned about gun violence, prompting lawmakers to reconsider existing regulations and their implementation.