How Terrorism Suspects Buy Guns — and How They Still Could, Even With a Ban

New York Times: “According to a study by the Government Accountability Office using data collected by the F.B.I., the vast majority of those on the watchlist who attempted to buy a gun from 2004 to 2015 were allowed to proceed, because they were not stopped by a disqualifying factor like a history of criminal or mental health problems.”

“Even if the Orlando gunman had been denied the purchase of guns from a licensed dealer because of his connections to terrorism, he could have still obtained weapons legally from a private seller at a gun show or online, because federal law does not require a background check for private purchases.”

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  • pisher

    There has to be an absolute and total ban on all sales of semi-auto rifles, all high capacity magazines, all cop killer bullets, all body armor–anything that somebody could only possibly need if he was planning to wage war against his fellow citizens and/or law enforcement. The military and some select parts of law enforcement are the only legitimate buyers for such items.

    It wouldn’t be easy, and because of the huge accumulation of these weapons in private hands, it would take decades to get rid of them–there would be a black market, bet on it. But it would make a serious dent in the stats.

  • jgrillo

    This article ignores root causes and basic facts…

    The fact is that the FBI has a background check system and it has failed us. I support the concept of an “effective” background check for all gun purchases. Let’s be clear, we currently do not have an “effective” and “accurate” background check database and that is not the fault of the NRA, law-abiding gun owners, members of congress, or the gun manufacturers. Why? Because it already exists. Omar Mateen was once on that list and then was removed. James Comey himself admitted that the FBI background check failed to prevent Dylann Roof from purchasing a gun.

    Also, I am surprised this hasn’t been published in various media circles, but the gun owner (who sold the gun legally to Omar Mateen), notified the FBI when Mateen requested to purchase body armor. Again, this terrorist tragedy is the failure of the FBI, and not the NRA, the AR-15, or law-abiding gun owners.

    Finally, I am in full support of background checks for all types of gun purchases, not because gun owners/gun show participants/gun shop dealers are responsible for murder, I support background checks because it will limit some crime and owning a firearm should be a responsibility taken seriously. But the causes here are clear: failure of the FBI and Islamic Radical Terrorism (whether it be direct or indirect recruitment).

    And if you are anti-gun and are frustrated with an inability of your elected leaders to provide legislation, blame the government’s background check system…it is flawed and liberal politicians conveniently blame others as a distraction. Get the database fixed first…then come talk to me about gun control legislation.

    • chad hatten

      well said,

  • chad hatten

    nice article

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