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Terror Suspects Can't Fly, but Can Buy Guns

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The FBI-monitored terrorist watch list is meant to prevent anyone suspected of being involved in terrorist activity from boarding a plane in the United States. But it won't prevent the same people from buying firearms and explosives in this country

According to the FBI, more than 1,100 people on the terrorist watch list have legally purchased firearms or explosives since 2004.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York traveled to Washington on Wednesday to ask Congress to change that law in the aftermath of the attempted terror bombing in Times Square. The mayor endorsed a bipartisan bill introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) to make certain that background checks required to purchase guns also include a cross-check of the federal terrorist watch list. Their legislation would also allow the FBI to revoke a firearm registration for any person who is added to the list.

If some guy is too dangerous to get on a plane, the senator and congressman reasoned, he should not be buying a gun either.

"We cannot afford another incident like those in Fort Dix or Fort Hood, where individuals suspected of terrorist activity legally obtained weapons that were used to kill innocent Americans," King told the Senate Government Affairs and Homeland Security Committee Wednesday.

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Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the attempted bombing in New York's Times Square, had weapons in his car, but was not on the watch list when he bought them. He was added to the list on Monday. However, Maj. Nidal Hassan, the shooter at Fort Hood, was under FBI surveillance when he purchased weapons that he later used in his rampage.

Although King, Bloomberg and the committee's chairman, Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), all support changing the law, Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina got into a heated argument with Lieberman over the intent behind adding restrictions to gun purchases.

"Losing the ability to own a gun, which is a constitutional right, using this list, the way it's constructed, is unnerving at best," said Graham. The same people who want broad restrictions on gun rights also support King and Lautenberg's bill, he said.

"I just don't see an argument that holds up," Lieberman said later. "If you've got a criminal record today, you can't buy a gun, you don't have a choice. That doesn't compromise the rights of law abiding citizens...You're my friend, but I don't get your concern." Aside from Graham's reservations, the bill is likely to get a hard look from the powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle Association.

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OK so the move to abolish weapons for civilian's moves ever closer to being a reality. My question is this, If there are people who have to be watched by the FBI terrorist's or by some government agency then why do we have to have any more laws that restrict guns, Why don't we just deport them and not let them back If they are a danger to the US then get rid of them not the second amendment. This is ridiculous that we would allow them to remain here to eventually do something. I am to the point where I don't care if we do what is now refer to as racist I don't care if it is a hardship on them, We are sending them HOME not a death camp. If we allow the same government that will watch someone for being a threat but do nothing to stop them ,then it will be just another step towards the confiscation of every weapon that we American's who are not terrorist's or criminal's own. It's not about our safety or some Muslim coward being here to kill us. It's about the Government being sure that we will never be able to say enough and be able to do something to keep them from taking every last freedom we have. "The strongest reason for the people to retain there right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny from Government" Thomas Jefferson.

June 26 2010 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This type of secret list will deny a person their constitutional rights without due process. Recently a 6 year old was reported to be on the list and before that an 8 year old Scout was on the list and as of now an American college student that had gone to Yemen to study has been forced to stay in Egypt and not able to come home. Even Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts was on the list.

People say history repeats itself and this secret list reminds me of McCarthyism of the 50's. His blacklists were ultimately discounted but not before ruining may lives.

At this time there is no way to find out how you got on this list but more importantly, how you get off this list. The FBI has stated that there are various reasons to be on the list and many that are on this list are not terrorists at all or may have the same name as a person of interest.

The denial of any basic Constitutionally guaranteed right based solely on a secret list is without merit and contrary to our rights as stated in the Fifth Amendment; "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; etc". I'd ask what freedom is next, speech, but that is being debated in Congress now.

Watching the current events unfold it occurs to me that the legislators oath of office in promising to protect and defend the Constitution is more lip service than application. You cannot defend something while tearing it down. Our rights should not be decided on bureaucratic whims.

June 26 2010 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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