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McCarthy Introduces Legislation to Stop Foreign Felons from Buying Guns

Mineola American | May 6, 2005

On April 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled current law does not prohibit those with felony convictions in foreign countries from purchasing firearms in the U.S.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) today introduced legislation to prevent individuals convicted of felonies in foreign countries from purchasing firearms in the U.S.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Small v. United States that the law preventing convicted felons from purchasing guns is inapplicable to individuals whose felonies were convicted in foreign countries.

"The Supreme Court ruling opened the doors for dangerous criminals to purchase guns in this country with no questions asked," said McCarthy. "This legislation will ensure our gun laws take crimes committed in other countries into consideration before allowing a firearm purchase to go forward."

McCarthy's bill amends current law to state that a person "convicted in any court, including any foreign court, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" shall not be able to possess a firearm.

"We cannot allow convicted drug dealers, murderers, rapists, and even terrorists to purchase guns just because their crimes occurred in another country," said McCarthy.

McCarthy's bill allows the courts to determine the validity of foreign convictions in disputed cases. "This clause will protect individuals convicted in courts of questionable jurisdiction or legitimacy," said McCarthy.

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