Remember Democrats’ call to ban people on the terror watch list from buying guns, now there are nearly 2 million people on the list

Aug 22, 2021 | background checks

Remember all the calls by Democrats to ban people on the terror watch list from being able to buy guns? Well, it turns out that if those proposals had become law, nearly 2 million Americans would be banned from owning guns.

Obama is calling for another measure: a ban for people on the FBI’s consolidated terrorist watchlist from buying guns

Meagan Fitzpatrick, “Gun sales to people on FBI terrorist watchlist must be blocked, Obama says,” CBC News, Dec 03, 2015

The amendment would give the attorney general the authority to block the sale of guns or explosives to known or suspected terrorists, if the attorney general has a reasonable belief that the weapons would be used in connection with terrorism. The amendment was modified from legislation introduced in February 2015 to ensure it adheres to Senate rules for amendments added to appropriations bills.

Feinstein Amendment Would Stop Terrorists from Buying Weapons,” Office of US Senator Dianne Feinstein, June 15, 2016.

Hillary Clinton (June 2016): Surely we can agree, if the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you should not be able to buy a gun with no questions asked.

‘This Week’ Transcript: US Attorney General Loretta Lynch Rush transcript for “This Week,” ABC News, June 19, 2016

Those are just a few of the many quotes by Democrats about how essential such a ban would be. In July, cybersecurity researcher Bob Diachenko found a leaked copy of the FBI terror watch list that contained the names for close to 2 million people who were either “known or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activities.” The dataset came from the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC).

Here is something that Dr. John Lott wrote about using the terror watch list for background checks back in 2016.

Though being on the FBI’s terror watch-list sounds bad, it doesn’t mean that the person has been convicted of anything. You can be on the list simply because the FBI wants to interview you about someone you might know. About 40 percent of people on the watch list are under “reasonable suspicion” even though they have absolutely “no affiliation with known terrorist groups.” . . .

But not only do the terror watch list and no-fly list target many people who aren’t really threats, they also stop a lot of people who weren’t meant to be targeted. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy was stopped from flying five times because someone with a similar name was on the no-fly list. Other prominent individuals such as The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes have run into this problem. . . .

John R. Lott, Jr., “Background Checks, Watchlists Ineffective,” The Orange County Register, June 20, 2016.
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