June 21, 2009
New Jersey Democrat senator Frank R. Lautenberg plans to introduce legislation designed to cancel the Second Amend rights of well over a million U.S. citizens this coming week, according to the New York Times. “Mr. Lautenberg plans to introduce legislation on Monday that would give the attorney general the discretion to block gun sales to people on terror watch lists,” the newspaper reports.
Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has promised to deny Americans their Second Amendment right if they end up on the government’s error-prone terrorist watch list.
Lautenberg is a notorious gun-grabber. He introduced a similar measure in 2007.
Lautenberg’s action comes in the wake of statistics compiled by the Government Accountability Office drawing attention to an “odd divergence” in federal law that allows erroneously designated terrorists to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms but prevents them from getting on a plane or getting a visa.
The Inspector General of the Justice Department reported that the Terrorist Screening Center — the FBI-administered organization that consolidates terrorist watch list information in the United States — had over 700,000 names in its database as of April 2007 and that the list was growing by an average of over 20,000 records per month, according to the ACLU. In March of this year the list hit the one million mark, a 32% increase from 2007.
The actual number may far exceed one million entries. The FBI says the number of names on its terrorist watch list is classified. In addition to the National Counterterrorism Center watch list, the FBI keeps a list of persons said to be domestic terrorists, according to ABC News.
Lautenberg said he was frustrated by an FBI refusal to disclose to investigators details and specific cases of gun purchases beyond the aggregate data included in the GAO report, the Times notes.
Earlier this year, a Department of Homeland Security report on “rightwing extremism” designated advocates of the Second Amendment, pro-life and anti-illegal immigration activists, and returning veterans as “terrorists.” It is not known if members of these groups are on the so-called terrorist watch list, although it is a fair assumption to conclude they are.
On May 15, 2007, then Illinois representative Rahm Emanuel, speaking at the annual Stand Up For a Safe America event sponsored by the gun-grabbing Brady Center, said that if your name appears on the bloated and error-ridden terror watch list your Second Amendment right should be denied (Emanuel’s comments are included in the Alex Jones clip below).
Obama chief of staff Emanuel’s promise may soon carry the force of law if Lautenberg’s proposed law makes it through Congress. According to the New York Times, however, the Justice Department is “noncommittal” about whether it would develop guidelines if Congress moved to give the attorney general discretion to block gun sales.
Lautenberg’s proposed bill is one of several now working their way through the labyrinth of Congress. On April 29, with little fanfare or corporate media coverage, H.R. 2159 was introduced and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. The bill would “increase public safety by permitting the Attorney General to deny the transfer of a firearm or the issuance of firearms or explosives licenses to a known or suspected dangerous terrorist.” Another bill, H.R. 1022, sponsored by New York Democrat Carolyn McCarthy and 67 co-sponsors, would provide AG Holder with the ability to ban guns at will.
Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, told WorldNetDaily that H.R. 2159 will be used in conjunction with the DHS “Rightwing Extremism” report. “By those standards, I’m one of [DHS Secretary] Janet Napolitano’s terrorists,” Pratt said. “This bill would enable the attorney general to put all of the people who voted against Obama on no-gun lists, because according to the DHS, they’re all potential terrorists.”
Lautenberg’s proposed bill would go one step further and allow Holder to deny the Second Amendment to officially designated enemies of the state.