Is there a “terror gap” in US gun laws? New York City Mayot Michael Bloomberg thinks so…
From this story in the Washington Post:
New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told a Senate panel Wednesday that he strongly supports congressional efforts to close a “terror gap” in the nation’s gun laws, which currently allow persons on a federal terrorist watch list to buy guns and explosives legally in the United States. Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee in the wake of the latest alleged terrorist plot against his city, Bloomberg (I) pointed to a new Government Accountability Office report showing that individuals on the terrorist watch list were able to buy firearms and explosives from licensed U.S. dealers 1,119 times over the past six years. “That is a serious and dangerous breach of national security,” Bloomberg testified. The FBI should have the authority to block such sales, “but right now, they don’t,” he said. “It is time to close this ‘terror gap’ in our gun laws.”
According to the GAO report released Wednesday, FBI data show that individuals on the government’s terrorist watch list were involved in firearms or explosives background checks 1,228 times from February 2004 through February 2010. Of those transactions, 1,119, or about 91 percent, “were allowed to proceed because no prohibiting information was found — such as felony convictions, illegal immigrant status, or other disqualifying factors,” the GAO’s Eileen R. Larence said in prepared testimony. She said the 1,228 transactions involved about 650 individuals, of whom about 450 engaged in multiple transactions and six were involved in 10 or more.
From March 2009 through February 2010, Larence said, 272 background checks yielded matches to persons on the terrorist watch list, one of whom was purchasing explosives. Several others were listed not only in the FBI’s Known or Suspected Terrorist File but were also on the Transportation Security Administration’s no-fly list, she said. “According to FBI officials, all of these transactions were allowed to proceed because the background checks revealed no prohibiting information under current law,” Larence testified.
Your thoughts?Should individuals on terror watch lists be allowed to buy guns?