Suspected terrorists allowed to buy guns

The so-called terrorist "watch list" is supposed to protect us from those who want to destroy our way of life.

Yet the Government Accountability Office says the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that watches these folks, could not stop 90 percent of them from buying guns after they were placed on the "watch list."

Which begs the question: Who’s watching the watchers? Or is anyone watching anything?

The National Rifle Association, which can come up with an excuse to allow anyone — at any time and for any reason — to buy guns, says there’s nothing wrong with suspected terrorists buying guns because the NRA believes most of them are law-abiding citizens anyway.

Maybe the NRA is right. Or maybe they’re not. Who knows who to believe in these maddening times?

Reports CNN:

When people on the government’s terrorist watch list have tried to buy guns or explosives in recent years, the government has let them the vast majority of the time.
Current law doesn’t stop firearm or explosives sales to people whose names are on the terrorist watch list.

Current law doesn’t stop firearm or explosives sales to people whose names are on the terrorist watch list.

That’s the finding of a new report by the Government Accountability Office, sent to lawmakers last month and released publicly Monday.

From February 2004 to February 2009, 963 background checks using the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System "resulted in valid matches with terrorist watch list records; of these matches, approximately 90 percent were allowed to proceed because the checks revealed no prohibiting information," the GAO report says. About 10 percent were denied.

"Under current law, there is no basis to automatically prohibit a person from possessing firearms or explosives because they appear on the terrorist watch list," wrote the GAO’s director of homeland security and justice issues, Eileen R. Larence.

"Rather, there must be a disqualifying factor (i.e., prohibiting information) pursuant to federal or state law, such as a felony conviction or illegal immigration status."

Of the 963 background checks, 865 were allowed to proceed, and 98 were denied, the report said.