Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Anti-gun Politicians, Media Exploit Paris Attacks in “Terrorist Gap” Rehash

Friday, November 20, 2015

Anti-gun Politicians, Media Exploit Paris Attacks in “Terrorist Gap” Rehash

The Paris terrorist attacks were not easily pinned on America’s supposedly lax gun laws or the NRA, but that didn’t stop exploitative assaults on America’s law-abiding gun owners and those who support them.

While some media sources did ruefully acknowledge that Paris already has highly restrictive gun control and that the firearms used in the attacks were obtained illegally, attention soon focused on supposed loopholes in American laws that critics claim make the U.S. a virtual arms bazaar for terrorists. One tabloid went so far as to characterize NRA’s Second Amendment advocacy as a “sick jihad.”

They’ve been saying essentially the same thing for over 10 years, even as “heavily-armed” America continues to enjoy a period of historic peace and calm.

The truth is that NRA, like all patriotic Americans, wants to protect the country from terrorists and violent criminals, not facilitate their acts. In protecting America, however, we will not throw away the values and freedoms that separate us from the medieval mindset of the Paris attackers, people whose hatred for Western Civilization is driven by its refusal to accept their twisted worldview.

The claim driving these media assaults on the NRA is that “terrorists,” or at least “terror suspects,” are legally able to purchase firearms in the U.S. because inclusion on the government’s so-called Terrorist Watchlist is not an automatic disqualifier under federal law.

Yet the basis for this claim is a highly-subjective, highly-secret government list that a number of the very same papers have reported on as being inaccurate, over-inclusive, and ignoring civil rights. Indeed, even the Huffington Post – rarely one to take NRA’s side in an argument – last year warned its readers of “7 Ways You (Yes You) Could End Up On A Terrorist Watch List.” The list, which has reportedly ballooned to a million names, and has included the likes of former South African President Nelson Mandela, Sen. Ted Kennedy and even a two-year-old child, is rife with errors.

We have discussed again and again the serious problems and constitutional violations inherent in denying people their Second Amendment rights based on inclusion in Terrorist Watchlist. Those who are on the list are not even supposed to know, and if they become aware of (or come to suspect) their listing, they have very little recourse to challenge it.

Even assuming (contrary to available evidence) that the Watchlist is administered flawlessly, it’s still a list of people who are only “dangerous” enough to be watched but not arrested, prosecuted, detained, deported, or any of the other things the government does (up to and including summary execution) to imminently dangerous terrorists.

In fact, to the degree it involves foreign nationals (and it overwhelmingly does), the only ones who could legally buy a firearm would be those who had been lawfully admitted to the country as immigrants. If a foreign national is so dangerous as to be on a list of “terror suspects,” why would the government tolerate his or her presence in the country at all, much less invite the person to live in the country?

But again, putting all that aside, is it really true that the government is helpless when any of these individuals attempts to buy a gun? Far from it, actually.

In testimony to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, an FBI official detailed what happens when a person on this list is flagged by the mandatory background check that federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLS) have to run on their customers. The official emphasized, “Our Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) are engaged every day, across the country, in following up leads, monitoring intelligence, and otherwise pursuing information about suspected terrorists who may be trying to obtain the means by which they or their associates can do harm to this country and its citizens.” These means, of course, are not limited to firearms.

In brief, the official explained that a NICS check for a firearm purchase includes a query of information from the so-called “KST File” (for “known or suspected terrorist”). If a possible match is detected and confirmed, the sale is placed in “delayed” status, and the matter is transferred to the FBI’s NICS Command Center.

The Command Center will carefully scrutinize the individual’s record for any possible legal basis of denial. Even if no such basis is found, the case will continue to be delayed for further research, with the Command Center contacting the FFL to obtain further information about the individual. The case is also referred to the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center.

If further research substantiates the match, the case is referred to the government’s Counterterrorism Watch Unit, where a case agent conducts additional follow-up with the FBI’s Counter Terrorism Division. That division immediately determines whether the FBI has an active investigation already ongoing into the individual. If not, one is opened, with notifications made as appropriate to other law enforcement agencies.

In summary, the FBI official testified:

Regardless of whether the transaction is given the green light to proceed or is denied, the encounter is noted at the time and its import is assessed in the same manner as all newly discovered pieces of intelligence about the subject of the investigation. … What the attempt to buy a firearm means in a counterterrorism investigation, and as a result the subsequent actions it warrants, necessarily must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Of course, just because and individual is allowed to purchase a legal item doesn’t mean that person is thereafter beyond the reach of law enforcement. If authorities knew, for example, that a person were buying fertilizer to make a bomb, they obviously wouldn’t sit on their hands simply because the fertilizer purchase was legal.

The same would obviously be true of the otherwise-lawful purchase of a firearm by a person who officials had evidence intended to use it to commit a terrorist act. In this regard, current law, coupled with the FBI’s procedure, could actually produce useful and actionable anti-terrorism intelligence.

On the other hand, prohibiting every purchase by a watchlisted individual gives real terrorists under investigation or surveillance an easy way to determine whether their acts have drawn the government’s suspicion. All they would have to do is go to a gun shop and attempt to buy a gun. If they were denied and knew they had no other basis of denial, they would know the denial was watchlist related.

In the end, it’s not surprising that elites who don’t want anybody to have guns under any circumstances would gin up fears about terrorism to make it harder for some to obtain firearms. In contrast, NRA has always stood for the right of law-abiding Americans to protect themselves from any unlawful threat. We will never abandon that value, nor will we yield our uniquely American freedoms to the demands of terrorists or any other enemies of liberty. 

IN THIS ARTICLE
Terrorist Watchlist
TRENDING NOW
Obama Says Goodbye to America’s Gun Owners with (a Likely Short-lived) Lead Ammo Ban

News  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Obama Says Goodbye to America’s Gun Owners with (a Likely Short-lived) Lead Ammo Ban

Gun owners knew that Barack Obama would not leave quietly. The only question was what else was coming.  

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

On Monday, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) – joined by co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) – introduced S. 59, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (HPA). Similar legislation was introduced in the ...

New Hampshire: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Senate!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

New Hampshire: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Senate!

Today, Senate Bill 12, legislation eliminating the requirement to obtain a permit in order to lawfully carry, passed the Senate without amendment, by a 13-10 vote.  SB 12 will now go to the House of ...

Federal Appeals Court: Chicago Violates Second Amendment … Again

News  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Federal Appeals Court: Chicago Violates Second Amendment … Again

On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found that Chicago had once again violated the Second Amendment, this time with its regulations for gun ranges.

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

Inspired, perhaps, by Oscar Wilde (“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess”), Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced two new sweeping gun control bills, with Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) and Rep. ...

Gun Owners Welcome Donald J. Trump as President of the United States

News  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Gun Owners Welcome Donald J. Trump as President of the United States

Gun owners across the nation breathed a sigh of relief as Donald J. Trump was sworn in Friday morning as the 45th president of the United States.

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

On January 3rd, Congressman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.8th) introduced H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which simply allows lawful firearm carriers from any state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state. The bill ...

New York Times Relies on Gun Prohibitionist Propaganda, Stigmatizes Suicide

News  

Friday, January 20, 2017

New York Times Relies on Gun Prohibitionist Propaganda, Stigmatizes Suicide

In a December 5, 2015, front page editorial, the New York Times finally admitted what discerning readers had long understood – that the paper advocates the prohibition and confiscation of certain types of now-lawfully possessed firearms. ...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Florida Urgent Alert! Self-defense Bill up in Senate Judiciary on Tuesday 1/24/2017

A critical self-defense bill will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, between 2:00-4:00pm.  SB-128 Burden of Proof by Senator Rob Bradley restores the presumption of innocence in self-defense cases ...

Oregon: State Employees Left Defenseless by New “No Firearms” Policy

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Oregon: State Employees Left Defenseless by New “No Firearms” Policy

Earlier this month, Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s Department of Administrative Services released a memorandum announcing a new policy prohibiting state employees from possessing a personal firearm in the workplace, even if they have a concealed handgun license.  This policy strips ...

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.