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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Pro-Gun GOP Senators Refuse To Close 'Terror Gap'

Mayor Bloomberg: Terror Suspects Are Buying Guns -- And The FBI Can't Stop Them
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's appeal to what he called "common sense" at a congressional hearing Wednesday morning failed to sway two Republican senators who said that giving the government the ability to block the purchase of guns by suspected terrorists would undermine the Second Amendment's right to bear arms.
"Shouldn't FBI agents have the authority to block sales of guns and explosives to those on the terror watchlists -- and deemed too dangerous to fly? I actually believe that they should," Bloomberg told senators. Federal law currently only allows the government to block guns sales for a very limited number of reasons, and being on that list is not one of them. (For more background, see Tuesday's article on the subject.)
"This common-sense legislation is not anti-gun -- it's anti-terrorist," chimed in Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), the sponsor of a bill that would close what Bloomberg has called a "terror gap."
But GOP Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina wouldn't go along.
Admitting that "at first blush" the bill "seems to be an obvious step that we should take," Collins said that many people on the FBI's watchlist don't belong there. "None of us wants a terrorist to be able to purchase a gun, but neither should we want to infringe upon a Constitutional right of law-abiding Americans," she said.
Graham described the bill as an instrument of those who would ban guns altogether. "We're talking about a constitutional right here," he said, explaining that he could not support a bill that would force "innocent Americans" to "pay the cost of going to court to get their gun rights back."
Graham wasn't nearly as concerned about rights when he launched into a disquisition on the treatment of American citizens accused of terrorism. "I am all into national security," he said. "I want them to stop reading these guys Miranda rights." LinkHere


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