Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

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
Maryland: Montgomery County Passes Carry Restrictions

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Maryland: Montgomery County Passes Carry Restrictions

Maryland’s most anti-gun county has continued its tantrum, lashing out against lawful carry in the only way it thinks it can. Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to pass Bill 21-22E, to remove the exemption ...

NY AG James Sends Threatening Letter to Ammunition Sellers

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

NY AG James Sends Threatening Letter to Ammunition Sellers

In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, anti-gun New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced last week that she would expand her assault on the Second Amendment by targeting ammunition sellers. AG James claimed, ...

Hawaii: Honolulu Seeks to Severely Restrict Carry

Monday, November 28, 2022

Hawaii: Honolulu Seeks to Severely Restrict Carry

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 29th, the Honolulu City Council will hear an ordinance to prohibit citizens from exercising their right-to-carry in many places. This is an attempt to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s NYSRPA v. Bruen ...

Recent ATF Action Shows Need for Suppressor Reform

News  

Monday, March 14, 2022

Recent ATF Action Shows Need for Suppressor Reform

As we reported last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors on February 28. These denials were apparently made due to ...

Emboldened, Opportunistic Biden Continues to Promote Gun Bans

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

Emboldened, Opportunistic Biden Continues to Promote Gun Bans

Whatever else can be said of Joe Biden as a politician, he has been consistent and unwavering on at least one point: he wants to take your guns. Make no mistake: Left to his own ...

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

News  

Monday, March 7, 2022

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

On February 28, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors. These denials were apparently made due to a change in ATF policy ...

CPRC: FBI Wrong – Armed Citizens Stopped at Least 34% of “Active Shooter” Attacks

News  

Monday, October 17, 2022

CPRC: FBI Wrong – Armed Citizens Stopped at Least 34% of “Active Shooter” Attacks

Recent polling indicates that an increasing number of Americans view the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with distrust and disfavor. The results of a national survey conducted in August by Rasmussen Reports found that a majority of voters asked ...

California DOJ Awarded Participation Trophy for Losing Bruen Brief

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

California DOJ Awarded Participation Trophy for Losing Bruen Brief

Those of earlier generations used to chuckle when small children were presented trophies merely for participating in organized sports. When this practice began, few could have predicted that this effete custom would someday extend to ...

Déjà vu: Biden Taps Operation Chokepoint Veteran to Again Lead FDIC

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

Déjà vu: Biden Taps Operation Chokepoint Veteran to Again Lead FDIC

Of all the scandals of the anti-gun Obama/Biden administration, Operation Chokepoint was perhaps the most insidious. NRA-ILA covered the story at the time, explaining how federal regulators – including the Department of Justice and the ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.