“If anyone is on a no-fly watch list, then why for heaven’s sake should we allow that the same individual to purchase a weapon?"
New York City, New York (PRWEB) July 05, 2016
Frank Spotorno, Republican candidate for Congress in the 14th District in New York, recently commented on the debate over preventing persons on the no-fly list from purchasing a gun. Spotorno, a member of the National Rifle Association, supports legislation proposed in Congress that would bar gun sales to people on a government terrorist watch list, and also proposes denying persons on the no-fly list from having a driver’s license.
“Both the NRA and the ACLU oppose the ‘No Fly No Buy Bill’ currently in Congress, and claim that denying American citizens the right to purchase a firearm at any time is a violation of the Fifth Amendment. I disagree,” said Spotorno. “As a member of the NRA, I support denying the right of anyone on the no-fly list from purchasing a weapon.”
According to FBI records, the overall watch list known as the Terrorist Screening Database contains 1 million names of known or suspected terrorists, of which fewer than 5,000 are U.S. citizens or legal residents. The no-fly list contains about 81,000 individuals; fewer than 1,000 of them are Americans.
“Since 2001 we have prevented a major attack on our country, but the recent individual attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando show that we must continue to stay vigilant,” said Spotorno. “If anyone is on a no-fly watch list, then why for heaven’s sake should we allow that the same individual to purchase a weapon? If their Fifth Amendment due process isn’t violated from the no-fly list, then their Second Amendment rights aren’t violated if we deny them the right to purchase a weapon.”
The Orlando gunman had been included on a terror watch list as recently as 2014, before the FBI removed his name. He legally purchased the weapons to kill 49 Americans on June 12.
“To me and most Americans, it’s common sense,” said Spotorno. “For the most part, people who are on a watch list should not be able to buy a gun and kill people.”
Among the two proposals before Congress that Spotorno supports include a compromise bipartisan Senate bill that would allow would-be gun-buyers to contest their rejection in a federal Appeals Court and get the government to pay their attorneys’ fees if the challenge succeeds.
The NRA supports a bill that would have notified the U.S. Attorney General’s Office any time someone on a no-fly list or terrorist watch list tried to buy a gun. But to block the sale, the office would be required to respond within 72 hours of the notification, with proof that the potential buyer has ties to terrorism.
“I have written to Speaker Paul Ryan, who refuses to consider new legislation that he says would take away a citizen’s due process rights,” said Spotorno. “Mr. Speaker, common sense dictates that we do something to protect the 330 million Americans from the 1 million suspected terrorists and those on the no-fly list. I support the Second Amendment, but not for individuals that are deemed a possible threat or danger to our country. Remember the goal: to defeat terrorism and keep Americans safe at home and abroad.
“I also support, and propose that Congress pass a law to deny those same persons on the no-fly list the right to have a driver’s license. If anyone is a suspected terrorist, and they're not allowed to fly, then why are they allowed to drive? Mobility is the aide that terrorists use in delivering and in preparing their acts of terror,” continued Spotorno.
Last year, a Minnesota man was given a bus driver’s license despite being on the no-fly list. Amir Meshal was under scrutiny from federal authorities for possible activities helping to recruit young people for terror groups. He’s was placed on the U.S. government’s no-fly list and, according to documents from the Department of Homeland Security, was “an individual who represents a threat of engaging in or conducting a violent act of terrorism.”
“State laws prevent denying individuals on the no-fly list the right to have a driver’s license,” said Spotorno. “That is why we need a federal law to do it. Anyone who is on a no-fly list should be included on a no-drive list. It may not prevent all terror-driven mass killings by Islamic extremists or home-grown terrorists, but it will make it harder for them to do so. Banning guns for most law-abiding Americans is not the answer. Common-sense solutions are a good first step.”
For more information, visit http://www.spotornoforcongress.com.