You’re on the list
A Congressional study reveals that people on terrorist watch lists can still buy guns, legally:
People suspected of being members of terrorist groups are not automatically barred from legally buying a gun, and the new investigation, conducted by congressional officials at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), indicated that people with clear links to terrorist groups had taken advantage of this gap on a regular basis.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, law enforcement officials have voiced increasing concern about the prospect of having a terrorist walk into a gun shop, legally buying an assault rifle or other type of weapon.
Do they mean real assault weapons or the look-alike weapons that anti-gunners are trying to get banned? The former may be difficult as they are already regulated under the 1934 NFA and require a sign off from local law enforcement to acquire. More:
At least 44 times between February and June 2004, people regarded by the FBI as known or suspected members of terrorist groups sought permission to buy or carry guns, the GAO found.
In all but nine cases, the FBI or state authorities who handled the requests allowed the gun applications to proceed because a check of the would-be buyer found no automatic disqualification, like being a felon, an illegal immigrant or a person deemed “mentally defective,” the report found.
In the four months after the formal study ended, authorities received another 14 gun applications from terror suspects, and all but two of those were cleared to proceed, the investigation found. In all, officials approved 47 of 58 gun applications from terror suspects over a nine-month period last year, the GAO found.
The gun buyers came up as positive matches on a classified internal FBI watch list that includes thousands of high-risk terrorist suspects, many of them being monitored, trailed or sought for questioning as part of continuing terrorism investigations, officials said.
Maybe if the list wasn’t classified, it could be included as part of the National Instant Check System. Still, I don’t see the point. There are criteria for the background check and they dictate essentially that the purchaser be a law-abiding citizen. As long as these folks fit that bill, the system won’t stop them.
Update (and bumped): People who don’t know anything about gun laws respond:
Why The National Rifle Association Is Al Qaeda’s Best Friend
Looking for a potent issue in next year’s midterms? How about this one? Because of the NRA’s efforts to weaken gun control laws, and the White House and GOP support for such efforts under the pretense that the privacy rights of gun owners are more important than the government’s right to maintain records, known terror suspects have been largely successful since 9/11 in obtaining guns and assault weapons.
Actually, the NICS system has been in place since 1994 (with the support of the NRA, who were willing to concede the 1994 ban to get the NICS passed). The law has not been weakened. Apparently, largely successful means (let’s see, 44 minus 9) 35 times. The fact a person is on a watch list doesn’t mean they’re actually, you know, a terrorist or that they’ve broken a law. He continues with this bit of intellectual wizardry:
The NRA and their GOP supporters in the House and Senate have no defense for this one. The NRA and the GOP are making it easy for terrorists to acquire assault weapons here at home, plain and simple, and the FBI says they are hindered in fighting terrorism. That is the only sound bite Democrats need between now and next year to destroy vulnerable Republicans who have accepted large campaign contributions from the NRA.
How so? Sounds to me like the ATF and FBI aren’t talking. Isn’t increasing agency communication what the Department of Homeland Security was supposed to do? These terrorists aren’t necessarily terrorists. They’re people whose names appear on some list. They do not meet the criteria to be disqualified from purchasing a gun.
Next up, this genius:
Just to recap: Today, a man with clear ties to terrorism can stroll into a gun shop and buy a semi-automatic assault weapon or – if he’d rather, an easily concealable Five-seveN “cop-killing gun.” In most states, he can carry that firearm, loaded, into a restaurant or bar, although in Alaska and Arizona, he won’t be allowed to have a drink. But until he opens fire, he still won’t have broken the law.
There is no such thing as a semi-automatic assault weapon. The 5 7 is not a cop killing gun (to date, I think it’s killed exactly zero cops) and it is not armor piercing, despite the lies of anti gun groups. Ask the ATF. Most states regulate the carrying of arms where alcohol is served. This person is correct that until someone actually breaks the law, they haven’t broken the law.