- Feb 4, 2005
- Reaction score
- Saint Paul, MN
- Political Leaning
Suspects on U.S. terrorism list bought guns
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?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.