May 5, 2010
Notorious gun-grabber Mayor Michael Bloomberg has exploited the fizzle non-bombing in New York’s Times Square to call for denying the Second Amendment to over a million Americans.
Bloomberg told the Senate Homeland Security Committee today he strongly supports congressional efforts to close a “terror gap” in the nation’s gun laws. Bloomberg pointed to a new Government Accountability Office report showing that individuals on the terrorist watch list were able to legally buy firearms and explosives from licensed U.S. dealers.
“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,” reports the Washington Post.
From March 2009 through February 2010, according to GAO’s Eileen R. Larence, 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, said Larence.
In September 2007, the Inspector General of the Justice Department reported that the Terrorist Screening Center — the FBI-administered organization that consolidates terrorist watch list information — had over 700,000 names in its database. The list was growing by an average of over 20,000 records per month, according to the ACLU. It currently stands at nearly a million and a half entries.
The No-Fly list is much shorter. It contains from 3,400 names to over 6,000 individuals, according to ABC News. Following the foiled underwear bombing on Christmas Day, 2009, Russell Travers, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee he expected it to grow. “It’s getting bigger and it will get much bigger,” Travers admitted.
The No-Fly list is a standing joke. In 2004, the late senator Edward Kennedy ended up on the list. So did Muslim peace activist and singer Cat Stevens. Since converting to Islam, Stevens has gone by the name Yusuf Islam. His name included on a passenger list resulted in a United Airlines flight from London to land in Bangor, Maine.
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Bloomberg and a bipartisan coalition of 500 mayors support legislation that would allow the U.S. attorney general to deny gun purchases to people included on the lists. He said the group also wants Congress to close another “loophole” (otherwise known as the Second Amendment) that allows people to buy firearms at gun shows without background checks by the government.
The provisions of Bloomberg’s proposed legislation are aimed squarely at gun shows. “The Bloomberg bill would give the U.S. attorney general unlimited power to impose fees and regulations on gun show operators,” writes David Kopel for Denver Post. “An anti-gun attorney general could make the fees so exorbitant that no one could operate a gun show. Extremely complex and time-consuming registration forms that would have to be filled out every week could also drive gun shows out of business.”
In March, Bloomberg sent a letter to Obama demanding the government enforce unconstitutional firearm laws. “Mr. President, the time has come for action,” Bloomberg and Mayors Against Illegal Guns wrote. “Over the past six months, approximately 6,000 Americans have been gunned down in intentional acts of violence. The 40 recommendations in our Blueprint, many of which could be enacted immediately, offer the best hope we have for making our country safer over the next six months — and the years ahead.”
Mayor Bloomberg’s demand that every person on the so-called terrorist watch list be denied the right to purchase and own firearms is a serious affront to the Second Amendment. It would deny more than a million Americans the right of due process as stipulated in the 5th Amendment.
In May 2009, the Inspector General of the Justice Department found that thousands of names were placed on the terror list without predicate. As an example of the sort of “terrorists” included on the list, consider the case of Michael Winston Hicks, an 8 year old Club Scout from Clifton, New Jersey. Hicks is considered a terrorist by the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security.
If Bloomberg has his way, when Mikey Hicks grows up he will not be able to practice his constitutional right to own a firearm.