Is the NRA (and other pro-gun groups) seriously going to defend people on FBI's terror watch lists the right to bear arms? It certainly seems so.
There were 963 people from the watch list who were recorded trying to buy guns in the last five years, according to a new Government Accounting Office report. Well over 800 purchases were permitted under the current law. Only 10 percent of all those who tried to purchase guns were actually turned down.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg would like to stop these sales. The New Jersey Democrat has introduced legislation, the "Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009," to prohibit gun sales to anyone on the FBI's watch list.
It is Lautenberg's second attempt to address what he describes as a national security concern. A similar bill, which the senator introduced In 2007, met with a determined assault from the NRA and other pro-gun groups before ultimately failing. Despite initial support from the Bush administration, the legislation lost traction after the former president drew fire from the NRA.
In a press release issued Monday, Sen. Lautenberg, invoked the GAO report, which revealed that terror suspects looking to purchase guns are overwhelmingly approved on the grounds that there are no legal means to disqualify them.
"The special interest gun lobby has so twisted our nation's laws that the rights of terrorists are placed above the safety of everyday Americans," Lautenberg said. "The recent GAO report is proof positive that known and suspected terrorists are exploiting a major loophole in our law, threatening our families and our communities. This 'terror gap' has been open too long and our national security demands that we shut it down."
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a gun rights organization, countered Lautenberg with the argument that the proposed change is just the beginning of a larger battle to abolish the Second Amendment altogether. In a statement released Monday, CCRKBA accused Lautenberg of trying to "expand his gun prohibition agenda under the cloak of national security." The group suggested that Lautenberg "probably would" strip Second Amendment rights from all Americans if he had the chance.read more...