Republicans are currently on a mission to deny Syrian refugees a safe place in America because they claim that they are terrified of terrorists. However, while they are making appearances on Fox News and whipping their constituents into a frenzy, their NRA-friendly gun laws have allowed more than 2,000 terror suspects to purchase firearms in the United States.
In 2010, the Government Accountability Office found:
Membership in a terrorist organization does not prohibit a person from possessing firearms or explosives under current federal law.
That’s right, everyone! The laws the NRA and Republicans fight so hard to protect from President Obama and Democrats actually allow suspected terrorists to buy guns. The federal laws prohibit felons, domestic abusers, drug addicts and fugitives from buying firearms in the U.S., but people who are on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist can purchase handguns and assault rifles. According to the Washington Post:
Between 2004 and 2014, suspected terrorists attempted to purchase guns from American dealers at least 2,233 times. And in 2,043 of those cases — 91 percent of the time — they succeeded.
Lawmakers have tried to stop these purchases from taking place by closing the loophole, but the National Rifle Association, backed by pro-gun Republicans, have killed every bill that aims to do that. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) introduced another bill to stop it this year. The “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015” will prevent people on the watchlist from buying weapons and has a provision that would allow people to challenge a denial if they were put on the list by mistake.
Unfortunately, the chances of the bill making it out of committee are slim. In 2011, Rep. King introduced a similar bill and the NRA vehemently opposed it. They claimed:
[The bills] are aimed primarily at law-abiding American gun owners…As D.C.’s and Chicago’s handgun bans have proven, prohibiting the possession of firearms doesn’t stop criminals from illegally acquiring them. There would be an enormous potential for abuse, if the FBI were given arbitrary power over a constitutionally-protected right. This would be true even if the FBI had an unblemished record where civil rights are concerned…..[they] are sponsored by gun control extremists.
So, while the Republican party is running around screaming about scary toddlers, ISIS and President Obama, they are actually letting suspected terrorists arm themselves in America. Why? Because the money the NRA puts into their campaign coffers is far more important to them than national security.
They protect us so well, don’t they?
Featured image via Elizabeth Preston