The White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention has become a significant threat to our guns and our civil rights.

When the office was unveiled in September 2023, President Joe Biden said it would, “centralize, accelerate, and intensify our work to save more lives more quickly. That’s what it was designed to do. It will drive and coordinate a government and nationwide effort to reduce gun violence.”

The office wields tremendous power but operates in secrecy, without oversight. It has no website. Its budget has never been made public. Its staffing levels are not known. Only three actual members have ever been identified – the director and two deputy directors. All three are radical anti-gun zealots. One has a long association with former President Barack Obama.

Neither Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris, who oversees the office – at least officially – has ever clearly articulated what the office is supposed to do, other than “reduce gun violence” and “build on historic actions taken by President Biden to end gun violence.”

Biden’s “historic actions” are well known and include calls for red flag laws; universal background checks, which would open the door to firearm registration; banning popular semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines; revoking licenses of gun dealers for minor clerical errors; and pushing Congress to pass laws that would force gun owners to comply with firearm storage regulations, which would likely be followed by mandatory home inspections to insure compliance.

Using open-source and other data, the Second Amendment Foundation examined the office’s key personnel, budget and operations. The findings reveal a Star Chamber of sorts, designed to come up with ways to chip away at the Second Amendment and then push them out to the states, without any scrutiny from Congress, the courts or the public.

“For the first time in the history of the United States a president has created an office within the White House solely to find ways to circumvent and violate the Constitution,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “And do not forget that taxpayer dollars are supporting this abomination. We are paying the Biden-Harris administration to violate our civil rights.”

Key personnel

Stefanie Feldman was named director of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Greg Jackson and Rob Wilcox, whom the White House described as “leading gun violence prevention advocates” were named Special Assistants to the President and Deputy Directors.

All three were well known within the gun-ban industry, which celebrated the new office and its staff.

“The creation of an Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the White House will mark a turning point in how our federal government responds to an epidemic that plagues every state and every community in America,” Brady president Kris Brown told the Associated Press. Brady, he said, had advocated for an office in the White House since 2020.

Feldman is one of Biden’s longest serving policy advisors. She worked with him for more than 10 years. Previously, she had worked as National Policy Director for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign. She also served as the inaugural Policy Director for the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware’s Joseph R. Biden School of Public Policy & Administration. Feldman started her White House career as an intern when Biden was Vice President. Feldman’s specialty is gun violence prevention. Her Twitter account contains a litany of anti-gun posts.

Feldman, along with First Lady Jill Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, recently helped sell a template to schools that principals and administrators could use to gaslight parents into supporting gun control. While Deputy Assistant to the President, Feldman wrote many of Biden’s anti-gun press releases, including one titled “Taking on Gun Crime and Violence with a Whole-of-Government Approach.”

In a call with reporters last year, Feldman foreshadowed her office’s plans, saying there are “policies where the White House and this administration have made progress at the federal level. And we are going to continue to call on Congress to act but, in the meantime, we are going to be working hand in hand with states to advance all these agenda items.”

Greg Jackson, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director. (Photo courtesy White House Facebook account.)

Before he was picked to serve in the White House, Greg Jackson was executive director of the Community Justice Action Fund, which is funded by Tides Advocacy, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit with more than $50 million in assets.

Influence Watch describes Jackson’s Community Justice Action Fund as “the lobbying arm of the gun-control advocacy and criminal justice reform group Community Justice Reform Coalition (CJRC). CJAF acts as a centralized funding organization for advocacy work done by both groups, which is largely focused on stemming gun violence against Black Americans and placing race relations in the center of the debate on gun control.”

“CJAF often pushes the boundaries of its gun-violence advocacy mission in favor of radical-left views on race. While they supported the passage of legislation that would create stricter access to firearms, they also balked at an added provision supported by 26 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives that would report illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if they attempted to buy a gun, which is forbidden under federal law,” Influence Watch found.

In a 2022 interview with NPR, Jackson said he was a “survivor of gun violence.” He was shot in April 2013 while walking by two people having an altercation that turned into gunfire. As a survivor, Jackson was very clear about his goals for the new office.

“Well, I think there’s a lot we can change. But most importantly, we need to acknowledge this as a public health crisis,” he told NPR.

Jackson’s association with Obama dates back to 2008, when his began as co-chair of DC for Obama. In 2010, Jackson served as field director of Obama’s North Carolina campaign. In 2012, he was field director of Obama for America. In 2013, he became the Southern Regional & Gun Violence Issue Coordinator at Organizing for Action, and in 2014, Jackson was the national field director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

(Photo courtesy White House Twitter account.)

Like Jackson, Rob Wilcox calls himself a “gun violence survivor.” Wilcox told People magazine how his 19-year-old cousin Laura was shot and killed 10 years ago, and how he became an anti-gun activist, “not by choice, but by circumstance.”

“I don’t know that you have to be this close to the pain to see the need for change,” Wilcox told the magazine. “But as the president had said, some of us turn pain into purpose.”

When he was chosen by the White House, Wilcox was working as an anti-gun lobbyist – senior director of federal government affairs for Everytown for Gun Safety, which is one of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s well-funded anti-gun groups.

Wilcox has called for banning semi-automatic firearms, standard-capacity magazines and overturning the Protection of Lawful Commerce and Arms Act (PLCAA), which shields gunmakers from liability if their products are used in the commission of a crime.

Budget

The White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention is funded by an annual appropriation Congress allocates to the executive branch. How the appropriation is spent is solely at the discretion of the White House. The total amount the gun-control office receives is not known, and the White House is immune from most requests made under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Last year, according to White House documents, Feldman received an annual salary of $168,000 while serving as Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary. Jackson’s and Wilcox’s salaries were not yet included in the 2023 document.

Since the next administration could disband the office, Democrats have introduced legislation that would make the gun-control office a permanent fixture by moving it from the White House to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy.

H.R. 1699, known as the Office of Gun Violence Prevention Act of 2023, was sponsored by Senator Chris Murphy, (D-Conn.) and Congressman Maxwell Frost, (D-FL-10). It has garnered 92 co-sponsors – all Democrats – but has not seen any substantive legislative action.

The bill would require the director to recommend anti-gun policy to Congress and the president. It would create an advisory council, consisting of members of the Attorney General’s office along with the directors of the FBI, ATF and other federal offices. The bill calls for additional advisory council members, which would include gun violence survivors, public health and medical professionals and other community members. Representatives of the firearm industry did not make the list.

Operations

After the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, part of which said that carrying a pistol in public was a constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment, blue states began passing post-Bruen “tantrum” laws – legislation they knew violated Bruen and was therefore unconstitutional.

These same politicians began introducing anti-gun legislation in earnest: “assault weapon” and standard-capacity magazine bans, Red Flag laws, so-called “safe storage” requirements, universal background checks and more. Much of the legislation was similar. It’s no secret where it came from. After Bruen, Feldman started holding meetings with state officials to push gun control even before her office had been created.

In August 2022, just two months after Bruen, Feldman met with state lawmakers to push Red Flag laws.

Participants included:

  • Maryland Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones
  • Kentucky Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey
  • Former Florida Senate President Bill Galvano
  • Florida State Senator Lori Berman
  • Florida State Representative Christine Hunschofsky
  • Maryland State Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary
  • Maryland State Senator Jeff Waldstreicher
  • Minnesota State Representative Kelly Moller
  • Minnesota State Representative Dave Pinto
  • New Hampshire State Representative Debra Altschiller
  • Pennsylvania State Representative Jennifer O’Mara
  • Pennsylvania State Representative Todd Stephens
  • Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez

In February 2023, Feldman met with officials to tout the administration’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which gave states $750 million to implement more Red Flag laws.

Participants included:

  • Colorado State Representative Mike Weissman
  • Florida State Senator Lori Berman
  • Illinois State Representative Maura Hirschauer
  • Michigan State Representative Kelly Breen
  • Michigan State Representative Ranjeev Puri
  • Michigan State Senator Rosemary Bayer

In April 2023, Feldman met with state lawmakers to “discuss way to hold gun manufacturers accountable.” Biden had been pushing hard for the repeal of the PLCAA. He still is.

Participants included:

  • California State Assemblymember Phil Ting
  • Colorado State Senator Jaquez Lewis
  • Colorado State Senator Chris Kolker
  • Colorado State Representative Jennifer Parenti
  • Colorado State Representative Javier Mabrey
  • Florida State Representative Christine Hunschofsky
  • Maryland State Senator Jeff Waldstreicher
  • New Jersey State Assemblymember John McKeon
  • New York State Senator Zellnor Myrie
  • New York State Assemblymember Patricia Fahy

In October 2023, Feldman, Wilcox and Jackson met with lieutenant governors to discuss “ways the Lieutenant Governors can be a partner to help enact policies to prevent gun violence in their communities and what resources are available at the federal level to address gun crimes and violent crimes generally.”

The exact details of their meeting were not disclosed.

Participants included:

  • Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis
  • Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan
  • Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II
  • Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos
  • Maryland Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller
  • Treasurer of Oregon Tobias Read
  • Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Sara Rodriguez
  • Vermont Lieutenant Governor David Zukerman

In December 2023, Vice President Harris hosted a gaggle of state lawmakers at the White House to showcase new gun-control policies that had been developed by the White House office, which were designed to “combat gun violence at the state level.”

The names of the attendees were not released, nor were the details of the meeting.

None of the meetings were recorded or transcribed, and they are just a few of the meetings that the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention office held with lawmakers.

Takeaways

The White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention has become both an incubator and a clearinghouse for anti-gun policy. Its very existence is an affront to the Second Amendment – its secrecy, an insult.

Despite some successes in pushing their radical agenda to the states, Feldman, Jackson, Wilcox and their staff should not get too comfortable. It is doubtful the next administration will require their services, and history will not be kind to the first White House office designed solely to violate Americans’ civil rights.

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