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Keeping An Eye On "Terror Watchlist" Legislation

Friday, May 20, 2011

Last week, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee rejected an amendment by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), which proposed to allow the Attorney General to disapprove the NICS check of a person who has been placed on the FBI's secret "terrorist watchlist."  Similar legislation has been introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.).

The NRA opposes all of these proposals for a variety of reasons, chiefly that they propose to deny a constitutionally protected, fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms without due process of law. While some of the proposals pretend to allow a person to appeal his watchlisting in court, the proposals would prevent the watchlisted person or his lawyer from examining and challenging the government's "evidence," the accused would not be entitled to a trial by a jury of his peers, and the judge would not be allowed to examine the government's evidence in full.

Gun control supporters pretend that proposals like the Quigley amendment are designed to prevent large numbers of terrorists from acquiring firearms. However, 95 percent of people on the watchlist are already prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms, because they are not U.S. citizens or aliens legally present in the United States. Furthermore, the watchlist contains the names of people who are not under investigation, or who are only under preliminary investigation, for potential ties to terrorism.

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox has sent a letter to Congress to outline NRA's concerns.  To read the letter, please click here.

For additional information, please click here.

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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.