Preventing individuals on the no-fly list from buying a gun reportedly won’t keep them from flying.
In practice, the government reportedly plans to prohibit gun sales to anyone on the far more extensive terrorism watch list database.
The implication is that the no-fly list is a bait and switch.
President Obama, along with Hillary Clinton and other liberal lawmakers, are pushing legislation that wold transform the no-fly list into a no-gun list.
Allowing persons so designated to obtain firearms is insane, Obama has insisted.
In his nationwide address last week about terrorism in the aftermath of the San Bernardino mass shoot, the president declared that “Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.”
The president has reportedly been huddling with key advisors about how to implement some aspects of additional gun control through executive orders rather than via the legislative process.
Gun rights advocates believe the ultimate end game of regulation is government confiscation of firearms from private citizens.
In the past, liberals and civil libertarians/privacy advocates have decried the no-fly list itself because of overinclusive errors, its arbitrary nature, and the lack of due process. The American Civil Liberties Union has hauled the government into court over the no-fly list.
“According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing the government over the no-fly list, the two lists include thousands of names that have been added in error, as well as the names of family members of suspected terrorists. The no-fly list has also been used to deny boarding passes to people who only share a name with a suspected terrorist,” the Los Angeles Times detailed.
The no-fly gun sales ban is sponsored by U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) who has maintained that “If you’re too dangerous to board a plane, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun.”
Parenthetically, Obama’s repeated calls for gun control apparently have had the reverse effect. More than 100 million guns have been sold in the U.S. during his term in office.
The number of FBI background checks on Black Friday, for example, set records in 2014 and 2015. The uptick in firearms and ammunition sales was also evident in White House gun control rhetoric in the aftermath of the horrible mas shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Actor James Woods announced on Twitter last week that Obama inspired him to join the National Rifle Association as a symbolic way to support the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the right to keep and bear arms, even though he doesn’t own a rifle.
According to an analysis by attorney Gabriel Malor of The Federalist, Feinstein’s gun control measure goes well beyond the no-fly list because it is actually based on the much-larger terrorist watch list, which contains about 1 million names, while the former only lists 47,000 people. The terrorist watch list which was created by Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD–6 dated September 16, 2003.
Feinstein’s bill would allow the U.S. Attorney General, or more particularly bureaucrats under the AG, to determine whether a person on the watch could be banned from obtaining a firearm. “At present, the government has no obligation to inform you that you have been placed on the terrorist watch list, and there are no statutory means to get off of the list.”
Ironically perhaps, the no-fly list apparently doesn’t actually mean no flying, when the larger database is in play, according to Malor.
“People forbidden from buying a gun under this legislation will still be allowed to travel by air. This is because people on the terrorist watch list are not forbidden from flying. They get extra scrutiny at airports, but can come and go as they please, making the president’s pitch even more nonsensical…”
There is existing linkage between the watch list and a gun transaction, however. “The terrorist watch list already gets pinged when an individual applies for a background check for a firearm purchase,” he added.
Roll Call confirmed yesterday that the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress use the no-fly list and the terrorism watch list interchangeably in their advocacy for stricter gun control laws and that the more extensive list is what they have in mind.
Feinstein’s office maintains that only a small percentage of those on the big list are American citizens.
An unnamed aide to Feinstein told Roll Call that the senator “always has targeted the larger list….But the aide said Feinstein has sometimes referred to the no-fly database rather than the broader one her legislation actually covers for this reason: ‘That’s more relatable to the average person — people have heard of the no-fly list, not necessarily [ones like] the National Counterterrorism Center’s TIDE database…'”
Feinstein’s bill was defeated in the Senate on a procedural vote with most Republicans voting no, but she and her colleagues presumably plan to bring it up again as the gun control debate continues to heat up, which also may culminate in executive action by the president.
[Photo via Shutterstock]