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Should suspects on U.S. terrorism list be able to buy guns?

Should suspected terrorists in this country still be allowed to buy guns?


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shuamort

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Suspects on U.S. terrorism list bought guns
WASHINGTON, March 8 (Reuters) - Dozens of terror suspects on U.S. watch lists got government approval to buy guns legally in the United States last year, according to a congressional investigation released on Tuesday.

The Government Accountability Office report said people associated with terrorist groups had taken advantage of loopholes in U.S. gun laws that do not automatically bar a person belonging to such a group from buying a gun.

FBI Director Robert Mueller said changes to the law might be needed in order to limit weapons access to people on a watchlist but who do not have disqualifying factors that would stop them from being allowed to have a gun.

He said the FBI kept track of people on the list but still granted approval to buy a weapon. "When we are alerted to the fact that a person on the watchlist is going to be allowed to have the weapon, then we don't let it go. We follow up on it," Mueller said during testimony to a Congressional committee.

People in the United States who buy guns from dealers have to have a background check before being allowed to purchase the weapon. Their names are checked to see whether they have disqualifying factors such as felony convictions or mental illness, or are illegal immigrants.

Of these people on terror lists trying to buy guns, the report said 35 sales were allowed to go ahead because the background checks found no disqualifying information.

Authorities got an additional 14 gun applications from terrorism suspects in the four months after the study ended and all but two were cleared to proceed, the report said.

Gun control advocates argue that current gun laws favor gun owners' privacy rights lobbied by the powerful National Rifle Association, or NRA, and give suspected terrorists an opportunity to evade scrutiny while obtaining weapons.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre disagreed with both groups and said he believed current procedures were sufficient. "I don't think any more legislation is needed," said LaPierre.
So what say you? Do you think that this is a loophole that needs to be closed, that we shouldn't let people on the FBI's terrorism list to have access to guns, or should we go with the NRA and let the terrorists who haven't committed any crimes to buy all the guns they can?
 

shuamort

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Let me quickly say that the people on the suspected terrorist list have NOT been prosecuted for any terrorist crimes and there is no proof against them for committing terrorist activities (otherwise, they'd have been arrested already).
 
S

sebastiansdreams

shuamort said:
Let me quickly say that the people on the suspected terrorist list have NOT been prosecuted for any terrorist crimes and there is no proof against them for committing terrorist activities (otherwise, they'd have been arrested already).
Do we know how they got on this list? I mean if this is a list of men and women who openly belong to groups that preach terrorism and attack, then perhaps it wouldn't be so bad to at very least have a much stricter policy on their purchase of guns. While you do have the Constitutional right to purchase and own a gun, if people's lives are possibly in danger, perhaps this is something that should be considered in the courtroom, no?
 

shuamort

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sebastiansdreams said:
Do we know how they got on this list? I mean if this is a list of men and women who openly belong to groups that preach terrorism and attack, then perhaps it wouldn't be so bad to at very least have a much stricter policy on their purchase of guns. While you do have the Constitutional right to purchase and own a gun, if people's lives are possibly in danger, perhaps this is something that should be considered in the courtroom, no?
U.S. terror watch list keeps eye on all groups
Regardless, the incident raises questions in the ongoing debate about the terror watch lists and who is on them, a subject that some say is being kept so secret by federal law-enforcement and intelligence officials that mistakes are inevitable.
"The lists are both so shrouded in secrecy and so large that inevitably innocent people are swept up as potential suspects or terrorists especially when you have lists that are maintained by intelligence agencies that have very little oversight," he said.
The Bush administration has attempted to stem confusion caused by the existence of multiple watch lists by establishing a joint FBI-CIA Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), which consolidates more than a dozen previous lists, including the State Department's TIPOFF database of more than 110,000 known and suspected terrorists.
In other words, it's a list of people that have some reason or another been added to the list as well as a group of people with similar names being detained, accused, or otherwise inconvenienced by this list.
 

ShamMol

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sebastiansdreams said:
Then if they're gonna start taking away rights, they better get a better list.
Ok, I voted for both maybe and a straight no. Why you may ask. I think that some people on those lists are really bad guys who probably wouldn't hesitate to either receive training from bin laden's group or have received training. But, the flip side is that there are some people on those lists that have no reason to be there. There was a no-fly list with a senator's name on it for example. These kinks have to be worked out in my opinion before we can categorically deny those people their right to bear arms.
 

LaMidRighter

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If these guys can clear their name, sure, but as long as there is any suspicion as to their motives, no.
 

Simon W. Moon

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Before the gubmint goes about depriving people of the Constitutional rights, I think there should be significant due process. Writing someone's name on a list is insufficient.

To me the question comes down to how precious are our American freedoms? AFAICT, they're more precious than life- that's why we sacrifice life for liberty. So even if some odd percentage of these people actually do something untoward with their weapons, I don't think that it justifies invalidating our Second Amendment rights based merely on some suspicions.
 

Simon W. Moon

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LaMidRighter said:
If these guys can clear their name, sure, but as long as there is any suspicion as to their motives, no.
Why should they have to clear their names? The Gubmint should have to prove some sort of wrong doing. The burden of proof lies with the accuser in this instance.
 

LaMidRighter

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Why should they have to clear their names? Real simple, you have a very tiny faction of muslims who will kill anyone they disagree with and are conniving little sob's. You are talking about people who will bring anything, including box cutters on a plane to kill another human being. If I have to pass a seven day waiting period and F.B.I. check with no probable cause except that I want a gun, then why should someone suspected of bad intent be given an absolute pass. It boils down to probable cause.
 

acm2117

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Yes it is their CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT. The gun laws in this country are screwed up, what happened to innocent until proven guilty? It doesn't apply with guns anymore. If you are even indicted of any disqualifing crime you are supposed to get rid of your guns. In my opinion any law that restricts the ability of any american CITIZEN to keep and bear any arms is unconstitutional.
 

C.J.

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LaMidRighter said:
If I have to pass a seven day waiting period and F.B.I. check with no probable cause except that I want a gun, then why should someone suspected of bad intent be given an absolute pass. It boils down to probable cause.
Do you have to wait seven days in LA??? It's not a question of PC, but rather one of suspicion, either reasonable or unreasonable. Reasonable suspicion being a legal requirement to look in to something further, and PC being necessary for a search or an arrest. Someone suspected of bad intent, would arouse a reasonable suspicion, but that's all. Any other action would be a liberty encroachment not dissimilar to killing someone simply because they were wearing a coat on a warm day, and running.
 

Simon W. Moon

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LaMidRighter said:
Why should they have to clear their names?
Yup. that's what i'm asking. Why are people suddenly considered guilty until they can prove their innocence?
LaMidRighter said:
Real simple, you have a very tiny faction of muslims who will kill anyone they disagree with and are conniving little sob's.
the same is true of non-Muslims. Btw, not everyone on a terrrorism watch list is a Muslim.
LaMidRighter said:
If I have to pass a seven day waiting period and F.B.I. check with no probable cause except that I want a gun, then why should someone suspected of bad intent be given an absolute pass.
When I read the question, it doesn't involve getting "an absolute pass."
It just asks if they should be allowed to buy guns. I assumed that all other legal requirements that are nromally in place are still in place for the sake of the question.
LaMidRighter said:
It boils down to probable cause.
Probably cause is insufficient reason to take away someone's Constitutional rights. At the least, there should be a case beyond a reasonable doubt before we go around abrogating Americans' Constitutional rights.

Why do you think that the threshold for being on a watch list is probably cause instead of suspicion?
 
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The people on watch for suspected terrorism are on watch for a reason. Either they might be, are, are related to somebody, or knows somebody who knows somebody that is involved in terrorism. This makes them a threat to the United States. If you are a threat to this country you should not be able to purchase firearms in this country. Some people say that the Right to bear arms is guaranteed to all U.S. citizens, I agree. But when your sole purpose is to harm the U.S. i don't consider you a U.S. citizen.
 

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guns_God_glory said:
The people on watch for suspected terrorism are on watch for a reason.
But, it's apparently it's not a strong enough reason to arrest them. If there's not even enough grounds for an arrest, then how can there be grounds enough for a sentencing?

guns_God_glory said:
Either they might be, are, are related to somebody, or knows somebody who knows somebody that is involved in terrorism.
Or at least someone says they are. Sometimes humans, even the ones in the govt, make mistakes.

If you want to take away a national's or a citizen's Constitutional rights there should be at least a trial.

It's all a question of how dear our Constitutional rights are. If you find them trivial, I can see why you'd be willing for them to be taken away on the mere say-so of a govt official.
If you think that our rights are valuable, then you may decide that an unnamed official's say-so is insufficient grounds for abrogating an American's Constitutional rights.

guns_God_glory said:
This makes them a threat to the United States.
Maybe. Maybe they're associated merely by an accident of birth.

guns_God_glory said:
Some people say that the Right to bear arms is guaranteed to all U.S. citizens, I agree.
It seems you do, except for the "guaranteed" part.

guns_God_glory said:
But when your sole purpose is to harm the U.S. i don't consider you a U.S. citizen.
This is not really the issue.
The issue is: What is an acceptable process for infringing on American rights?
You say that an anonymous official's suspicion is sufficient grounds for you to roll over and yield up your right to due process.
I want to keep my right to due process intact and therefore think that a trial is in order before fundamental American rights are taken.

After all, the need for a trial is one of our protections from the caprice of corrupt officials.
Like the saying goes, "Who watches the watchmen?"
 
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