NRA supports selling guns to terror suspects

The National Rifle Association is urging the Bush administration to withdraw its support of a bill that would prohibit suspected terrorists from buying firearms. Backed by the Justice Department, the measure would give the attorney general the discretion to block gun sales, licenses or permits to terror suspects.

In a letter this week to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, NRA executive director Chris Cox said the bill, offered last week by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., "would allow arbitrary denial of Second Amendment rights based on mere ‘suspicions’ of a terrorist threat."

"As many of our friends in law enforcement have rightly pointed out, the word ‘suspect’ has no legal meaning, particularly when it comes to denying constitutional liberties," Cox wrote.

In a letter supporting the measure, Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Hertling said the bill would not automatically prevent a gun sale to a suspected terrorist. In some cases, federal agents may want to let a sale go forward to avoid compromising an ongoing investigation.

Hertling also notes there is a process to challenge denial of a sale.

Current law requires gun dealers to conduct a criminal background check and deny sales if a gun purchaser falls under a specified prohibition, including a felony conviction, domestic abuse conviction or illegal immigration. There is no legal basis to deny a sale if a purchaser is on a terror watch list.

"When I tell people that you can be on a terrorist watch list and still be allowed to buy as many guns as you want, they are shocked," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which supports Lautenberg’s bill.

In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, lawmakers are considering a number of measures to strengthen gun sale laws. The NRA, which usually opposes increased restrictions on firearms, is taking different positions depending on the proposal.

"Right now law enforcement carefully monitors all firearms sales to those on the terror watch list," said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. "Injecting the attorney general into the process just politicizes it."

A 2005 study by the Government Accountability Office found that 35 of 44 firearm purchase attempts over a five-month period made by known or suspected terrorists were approved by the federal law enforcement officials.


On the Net:

Information on the bill, S. 1237, can be found at

National Rifle Association:

Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence:


  1. April-May

    The following commentary from Wayne LaPierre’s blog, “What They Didn’t Tell You Today,” from You can access the site at


    Monday, May 14, 2007
    Mythbusting, Part 1

    Over the past week or so, the NRA’s take on a couple of proposals in Congress has received a lot of attention from the media. The only problem is, with the mainstream media’s reporting, they’ve also put out some bad information. It’s time to set the record straight, and over the next two days, I’m going to do just that.

    Today I want to talk about this proposal by Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey that would allow the attorney general to deny anybody on a “watch list” the ability to purchase a firearm, get a Right-to-Carry license or get a federal firearms license.

    The NRA opposes this bill, but the media has been gleefully painting it as “The NRA supports the right of suspected terrorists to buy guns.” The NRA supports the Constitution, plain and simple.

    Imagine the implications of denying someone their constitutional rights just because someone, somewhere, suspects them of potential wrongdoing. You’re suspected of voter fraud, so we’re denying you the right to vote. You’re suspected of perjury, so we’re denying you your First Amendment freedom of the press. You haven’t been charged, you haven’t been arrested, you haven’t been indicted, you haven’t been convicted. Someone just thinks you’re suspicious. Is that enough to take away your rights?

    That’s not how the Constitution works. If someone is that much of a threat, they shouldn’t be on the street to begin with. They should be facing charges in our criminal justice system.

    Then there are the practical reasons to oppose this bill. No one knows who puts you on the “watch list,” or why, or how you get off. The Lautenberg bill provides an appeals process, but to appeal, you’ll have to rely on heavily redacted information that the government provides you. Through mistakes, bureaucratic red tape or political motivation, it’s certain that innocent people are going to be caught up in a nightmare of having their rights denied them. And believe me, politics will come into play.

    The NRA’s not soft on terrorism. We’re strong on the Constitution. Our principles require that we oppose any legislation that would deny Americans the right to keep and bear arms just because someone, somewhere, has put their name on a “watch list.”


    To get more comments on current issues and up to date information visit
    © 2007 National Rifle Association of America

    NRA Distinguished Life Member

  2. April-May

    The following commentary is from Wayne LaPierre’s blog, “What They Didn’t Tell You Today,” — You can access the site at


    Tuesday, May 15, 2007
    Mythbusting, Part 2

    Yesterday I talked about some of the myths surrounding the NRA’s position on legislation introduced by New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg that would empower the attorney general to deny Second Amendment rights to individuals at will, without due process of law.

    Today I want to talk about the NRA’s position on mental health records and the National Instant Check System, or NICS.

    I’ve seen some talk by gun owners that the NRA supports this, or wants that, and I want to be crystal clear.

    The NRA has always supported including the records of individuals adjudicated mentally defective in the National Instant Background Check System. But we don’t support adding people who have not been adjudicated mentally defective to the system.

    Let’s say that as a child, you went to a therapist because your parents got divorced. You shouldn’t have your rights stripped from you. If you take an anti-depressant to stop smoking or for depression, you shouldn’t have your rights stripped from you.

    There is a process the courts use to adjudicate mental defectives, and it doesn’t involve having your rights taken away because you had an eating disorder, or because you lost a spouse two years ago, or because you took Ritalin in the third grade.

    The NICS system should include the records of those who’ve been adjudicated mentally defective, and should exclude those who are not adjudicated mentally defective.

    We believe in making NICS work as Congress intended, but that doesn’t mean expanding to include the personal records of the millions who seek and get coping help as they should.

    That’s our position, whether the media reports it or not.


    To get more comments on current issues and up to date information visit
    © 2007 National Rifle Association of America

    NRA Distinguished Life Member

  3. Wayne K Dolik

    Frank Lautenberg’s is just another crazy Lautenberg crazy rich guy want to-be Hillary Clinton. Just imagine a picture in the future. After the Bush Administration has destroyed habeas corpus, spied on Americans, used torture on innocents, locked up anyone he felt like, Hillary Clinton becomes President.

    Just think about that!

    What we need to do is to stop selling guns to people on psychotropic drugs!

  4. April-May

    Chocolate is psychotropic, you silly fuck!

    NRA Distinguished Life Member

  5. cookiehustler

    Good God when will all the blame the gun sissies stop.

    It’s like shysters have chosen peddling fear and false promises to make their living. Go away for christ sakes and get real jobs, I don’t want or need your help.

    I used my gun to hold a 3AM intruder until the cops came and took him out of my home.

    The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence wasn’t there to protect me, my wife and family but my gun was.

    I’m 62, I should have to struggle with young healthy doped up intruders at 3 AM because of some anti-gun clown’s fears? Never.

  6. Bill Jonke

    you were damned lucky.

    Let’s hope your luck doesn’t run out; it could be fatal for you, or you could maim yourself in the balls – and live.

    Bill Jonke

  7. adamrussell

    Im against allowing the government to reduce the rights of any citizen just by putting them on a list called “suspected terrorists”. I do not trust our government to not abuse that kind of power.

  8. April-May

    This is the same govt. that denies habeus corpus to “suspects” in Guantanamo.

    It should take due process to deny a citizen their Constitutional civil liberties. As noted in the article “suspect” has no legal status.

    I can’t hardly believe that anyone cites The Brady Bunch as having anything credible to say about firearms. The Brady enclave are misinformed, hysterical and disingenuous reactionaries.

    NRA Distinguished Life Member

  9. cookiehustler

    To partially quote Thomas Hobbes

    A Covenant not to defend myself from force, by force, is always void. For. . . no man can transfer, or lay down his Right to save himself from death.

  10. April-May

    Here, think about this one:

    My driver’s license is valid across state lines.

    My marriage is valid across state lines.

    My mental state and law abiding status does not change when I cross state lines. Accordingly, if I’m licensed to carry a concealed firearm in one state, that license should be recognized in ALL states.

    Or better yet . . . since concealed carry prohibitions were enacted after the Civil War to prevent “armed negros” . . . US should follow Vermont:

    If you’re legal to possess the firearm in Vermont, you’re legal to carry it concealed.

    It’s called the Second Amendment.

    NRA Distinguished Life Member

  11. KayInMaine

    ….it’s okay for terrorists to buy a gun, but Cat Stevens gets thrown up against a wall, patted down, and taken into custody because our government believes he’s a threat to the planet’s well-being?

    I want my country back the way it was before it was overthrown in a soft-coup in 2000 by a bunch of Oil Maggots hell-bent on destroying reality. Thank you.

  12. Razor

    In order to impose a controlled society, the people must be rendered defenseless. That means confiscating all weapons. If that is ever accomplished by some of these hysterical groups, this nation will be at the mercy of a tyraneous government. Without an equalizer, the biggest and the baddest rule. And if we ever believe that police and government are our saviors who will always protect us from evil, we are dumber than rocks. People kill people, with cars, trucks,bombs,knives,shovels,and with hate. Guns are tools of defense but like any tool can kill as well. Taking them away from law abiding people is inviting crime upon all. Had one student or teacher had a firearm, there may have been much much less death at Virginia Tech.

    Similar events have taken place on campuses before but were stopped or confined because of students having a firearm in locker or car that was used to subdue to criminal before massive killings could occur. But the press never mentions these events because the controllers of media want guns confiscated to allow easier control of the populations. I would not be a bit surprised if Cho turns out to be a tool used to create mass anger against guns simply to enable legislation to prohibit ownership. Just like 911 was a false flag operation designed to anger and scare americans into allowing the constitution and bill of rights to be shredded right before thier misled eyes. Problem-Reaction-Solution is the game plan used by the evil powers that be to fool the masses into submission by fear and anger created by an illusion of threat.

    As you have seen, there is no great terrorist threat. Certainly it has increased due to Bushes invasion and occupation through illegal and immoral designs. Who can blame them for resisting occupation and destruction of thier land? What the hell did we do in 1776?

    Everyone who takes and passes a instructional course on gun use and safety should have the right to carry and use that weapon for protection of life and possessions. When that right is misused then they face the harshest punishment available. If everyone packed a gun, I guarantee there would be much less crime. A criminal would not attack anyone capable of defending themselves. Mass prohibition is wrong and would only help outlaws who will have guns regardless of laws. Intent needs addressed in the mind, not by removing any possible means to carry out any evil intention. Any change to the constitution has always proven to be negetive for the nation. Don’t succumb to mass media propaganda and lies about why horrendous events happen. Nine out of ten are staged events to sway rational thinking for gained control of the people. That is the master plan behind the chaos in the world today. Masonic pledge- control from chaos. Just open your eyes and see it happening.

  13. Wayne K Dolik

    Re: Distinguished Life member i.e. April-May, clean up your act, I am a member, and I don’t wear it on my sleeve. I was refeferenceing Lautenbergs record.. Please stop being being a potty mouth!

  14. Wayne K Dolik

    Re: Distinguished Life member i.e. April-May, clean up your act, I am a member, and I don’t wear it on my sleeve. I was refeferenceing Lautenbergs record.. Please stop being being a potty mouth!

  15. April-May

    Last time I checked, the First Amendment was still in effect.

    NRA Distinguished Life Member