In the wake of the depraved terrorist attack on the innocent in Orlando last Saturday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is using the nation’s shock and horror to push for gun control in the U.S. Senate.
Feinstein, the author of the failed Clinton “assault weapons” ban and one of the more vehemently anti-gun Senators in history, is pushing an amendment to give the Attorney General (AG) broad new authority to deny gun sales to individuals without any due process protections in place.
Although cloaked as an anti-terrorism measure, the Feinstein amendment provides almost limitless discretion to Obama administration officials to deny the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Giving this kind of broad unchecked authority to the AG is obviously the type of gun control that’s in line with Dianne Feinstein’s record on guns. The reign of abuse that would follow is potentially very dangerous.
We’ve noted the numerous problems associated with using secret government lists to deny Americans their constitutional rights without due process (here and here). Fighting the global war on terror doesn’t mean we discard core American values, we’re better and smarter than that.
But true to form, Feinstein’s amendment provides no real protections to Americans who will find themselves mistakenly stripped of their rights with secret information, lists, and files. In fact, under Feinstein’s amendment, an individual won’t even know why they were denied a firearm sale and are now in a prohibited class, unless they engage in the long, arduous, and bureaucratic process established under current law to appeal the denial. And this is only after one’s Second Amendment rights have been denied.
But it gets worse. Many are not aware of just how incredibly low Feinstein’s standard of proof is. The amendment states that the AG can deny a firearm sale when he or she has a “reasonable suspicion” that an individual is somehow connected to terrorist activities.
“Reasonable suspicion” means no due process at all. The bar is set so low, and is so entirely subjective, that it would amount to a virtual rubber stamp of every denial the AG makes. Consider this in the context of having a rabid anti-gun AG like Eric Holder in charge of this broad new authority.
This is clearly not what American standards of due process require.
Unfortunately, the NRA’s position has been intentionally misrepresented by certain groups and organizations. But this is too serious of an issue to be used as a political football for fundraising and personal gain.
Let’s be clear about this. The NRA opposes any and all legislation that would strip law-abiding Americans of their fundamental, constitutional rights without due process.
The U.S. Senate will be voting on a series of gun control measures as early as Monday. Please contact your U.S. Senators immediately and let them know you oppose any new gun control legislation. You can call your lawmakers at 202-224-3121, or click here to write your lawmakers today.