NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Longtime Gun Control Supporters Sponsor Gun Owner Blacklist Bills in Congress

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Despite their patriotic-sounding name—the “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009”—H.R. 2159 by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and S. 1317 by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) aren’t intended to contribute to the war on terrorism. Instead, they’re intended to give the executive branch of the federal government the arbitrary power to stop loyal Americans from exercising their constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms. The true purpose of the bills comes as no surprise, since King, Lautenberg and co-sponsors Reps. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), Mike Castle (R-Del.), Jim Moran (D-Va.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Mark Kirk (D-Ill.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.), and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) are longtime supporters of gun control.

H.R. 2159 and S. 1317 would give an attorney general “the authority to deny the sale, delivery, or transfer of a firearm or the issuance of a firearms or explosives license or permit to dangerous terrorists. . . . if the Attorney General determines that the transferee is known (or appropriately suspected) to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material support thereof, and the Attorney General has a reasonable belief that the prospective transferee may use a firearm in connection with terrorism.”

However, the bills would not impose requirements or limits on the kind of information an attorney general could use to make such a determination, nor establish a standard for “appropriate suspicion.” They instead propose that “any information which the Attorney General relied on for this determination may be withheld from the applicant if the Attorney General determines that disclosure of the information would likely compromise national security.”

The scheme that the bills propose is unprecedented. Since 1968, federal law has established guidelines for all categories of persons prohibited from receiving and possessing firearms, and since 1994 has expressly protected a prohibited person’s right to be told why he is prohibited. The bills would establish no such standards, would provide no such protection, and would allow an attorney general to deny gun purchases based upon secret information, or upon no information whatsoever.

H.R. 2159’s and S. 1317’s potential for abuse is obvious. A 2009 Department of Justice report1 states that the FBI’s terrorist watchlist doesn’t include certain known terrorists, yet includes people who are not terrorists, the latter an on-going problem widely reported upon by the media and the A.C.L.U.2 Even the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), perhaps the most widely recognized member of Congress since the watchlist was created, was on the list. And, the bills follow a disturbing Department of Homeland Security report characterizing gun owners and military veterans as “rightwing extremists,”3 and Attorney General Eric Holder’s endorsement of new gun control restrictions.

1. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Terrorist Watchlist Nomination Practices,” 5/2009.
2. USA Today, “Terrorist Watchlist Hits 1 Million,” 3/10/2009; New York Times, “Sorry, Pal. You’re Innocent, but You’re Still on Our Lists,” 08/25/08; Washington Post, “Terrorism Watch List is Faulted for Errors,” 09/07/07; FoxNews.com, Thousands Wrongly Listed on Terror Watch List,” 10/7/2006; NewsMax, “FBI Terror Watchlist Poorly Updated, Maintained,” 5/6/2009; ACLU, “Terror Watchlist Hits One Million Names,” 7/14/2008.
3. “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” 4/7/09.

TRENDING NOW
Couric’s Under the Gun, Under Fire Again

News  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Couric’s Under the Gun, Under Fire Again

The film Under the Gun, produced and narrated by news anchor Katie Couric and directed by Stephanie Soechtig, took a major credibility hit soon after its May release, when it was revealed that the film ...

Massachusetts AG Renews Attack on Gun Owners

News  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Massachusetts AG Renews Attack on Gun Owners

Last week, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey added to the confusion caused by her decision to unilaterally ban common semi-automatic firearms by releasing a list of “Guns That Are Not Assault Weapons.” In other words, ...

Libertarian VP Candidate William F. Weld Continues to be Anti-Gun

News  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Libertarian VP Candidate William F. Weld Continues to be Anti-Gun

As governor of Massachusetts, William Weld supported various gun control schemes, including a ban on semi-automatic firearms.  Unfortunately, and despite being the Libertarian candidate for vice president, Weld continues his anti-gun ways.

As Venezuelan Regime Loses Grip, Maduro Targets Guns

News  

Friday, August 26, 2016

As Venezuelan Regime Loses Grip, Maduro Targets Guns

Amid social and economic strife that threatens to topple the regime of Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan government is employing a favorite tactic of tyrants the world over, further gun control. Last week, Reuters reported that Venezuela Interior ...

Injunction Sought Against Texas Campus Carry Denied by Judge

News  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Injunction Sought Against Texas Campus Carry Denied by Judge

In July, University of Texas at Austin professors Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore, and Mia Carter filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and UT officials to ...

News  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

NRA Statement on Governor Christie's Conditional Vetoes of Anti-Gun Bills

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox applauds New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's heroic conditional vetoes of two anti-gun bills that would further restrict the rights of firearm owners throughout the Garden State.

Tennessee: Pro-Gun Law to Go into Effect Friday

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tennessee: Pro-Gun Law to Go into Effect Friday

During the 2016 Legislative Session, the Tennessee Legislature passed multiple pro-gun bills that promote and protect your Second Amendment rights

California: Counting Down to the end of the 2016 Legislative Session

Friday, August 26, 2016

California: Counting Down to the end of the 2016 Legislative Session

As the California legislature enters the final days of the 2016 legislative session your action is needed on several bills. This week both a pro-gun bill, AB 2510, and an anti-gun bill, SB 1332, were ...

Massachusetts Attorney General Unilaterally Bans Thousands of Previously Legal Guns

News  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Massachusetts Attorney General Unilaterally Bans Thousands of Previously Legal Guns

On July 19, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued an “enforcement notice” that greatly expands the Commonwealth’s definition of “assault weapon.”  AG Healey alleges that the ban’s definition of “copy” or “duplicate” “assault weapons” has been misinterpreted ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.