Guns and Terror Suspects Don’t Belong Together, Senator Says
By David Stout | April 28, 2022 12:09 pm

Guns were bought legally in the United States last year by 247 people suspected of having ties to terrorists, the FBI says, a situation that Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) says flies in the face of common sense.

What might at first seem to be an incredible lapse is better understood when one realizes that there are actually specific, limited reasons for the government to prohibit someone from buying weapons. Convicted felons and illegal immigrants cannot buy guns, for example.

“But the terrorist watch list is different,” The Associated Press noted, in a report posted on CBS News.com. “People become convicted felons only after a court process and an opportunity to defend themselves. The watch list is secret and generated at the government’s discretion. It is not a list of people convicted of terrorism crimes.”

“The list of about 450,000 people includes suspected members of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, terror financiers, terror recruiters and people who attended training camps,” The AP said. “People’s names are added to and removed from the watch list every day, and most people never know whether they’re on it.”

Nevertheless, some members of Congress, Lautenberg prominent among them, think it is wrong for people on the list to be able to buy guns. The senator said in a statement,”It defies common sense that people on the terror watch list continue to be cleared to buy weapons legally in the United States.”

Implicitly acknowledging that gun control is a perennial hot-button issue on Capitol Hill, Lautenberg said, “This is a homeland security issue, not a gun issue.”


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