Connecticut seeks to ban arms sales to US terror suspects

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Clinton to Announce Counter-Terrorism Plan in Speech Tuesday.

Led by New York and Connecticut, states are moving to close the terror gap that empowers suspected terrorists to buy guns. “If you cannot fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to purchase a firearm while on that watch list as well,” Malloy told reporters at the Capitol. “This is basic common sense.The governor of Connecticut announced Thursday that he intends to make his state the first in the nation to ban firearms purchases for people on federal watch lists, echoing President Barack Obama’s call for such a measure after the recent spate of terrorist attacks.

That’s why on Thursday I announced my intent to sign what would likely be a first-in-the-nation executive order, pending federal government approval, to ban those on government watch lists from buying guns in Connecticut.The parents of Yvette Velasco, who was killed in the San Bernardino, Calif., massacre, were joined by hundreds of people to remember the 27-year-old on Thursday, marking the start of a grim procession to take place over the next week to bury the 14 victims. The American people get it.” The Democratic governor and the state legislature have enacted gun limits that expanded the state’s assault weapons ban and barred the possession and sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines following the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. Individuals on the U.S. terror watchlist are barred from boarding commercial planes, yet they may legally purchase weapons, even assault weapons in many states, because Congress refuses to tighten gun controls. Dan Malloy, a Democrat, said he plans to sign an executive order requiring Connecticut State Police to cross-reference the names of anyone seeking a gun permit with databases such as the no-fly list or the terrorism watch list.

Over the past decade, some 2,000 terror watchlist members bought guns legally, given the privilege by the National Rifle Association’s insistence in limiting bans on firearm purchases to felons, the mentally ill and domestic abusers. Anyone on the lists would be denied permission to buy a range of firearms, and those with existing permits would have them revoked. “Like all Americans, I have been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris,” Mr. Two federal sources also said agents discovered information that Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were in the final planning stages for an assault on a separate location “with a lot more people inside,” possibly at a nearby school or college.

Permits would be revoked for those who already have them but are found on watch lists. “No one wants terrorists to get guns, but the governor is trying to unilaterally deny American citizens their constitutional right to keep and bear arms without due process,” said Rep. It needs to end because what’s equally tragic to these almost daily acts of lunacy in cities across America is our inability to stand up to do the right thing. Malloy has stepped into a fiery debate that has stretched from the Oval Office to the contest to become its next occupant: Should being a terrorism suspect prohibit a person from buying firearms? Cuomo would need legislation, perhaps a tall order at a time when the Republican-controlled Senate remains furious about the extensive gun restrictions he has already forced through.

Although U.S. citizens make up only a tiny percentage of the terror list, the NRA argues that any errors on the roster would deprive innocent people of the right to instantly get a gun. It came on the heels of announcement by White House adviser Valerie Jarret that Obama’s team is finalizing a proposal that would expand background checks on gun sales without congressional approval. Connecticut — which passed a series of gun-control measures after 20 children and six adults were killed in a 2012 school shooting in Newtown — already outlaws assault weapons. State officials will determine the “appropriate lists” to be included, whether they are no-fly lists or “some kind of combination of those who should not have weapons,” Malloy said. And this step, when implemented, will build on Connecticut’s 2013 gun safety legislation, which requires background checks, outlaws high-capacity magazines and armor-piercing rounds, and bans the sale of assault weapons.

This is a matter of national security.” White House press secretary Josh Earnest reiterated that call at his daily briefing on Thursday, even as he declined to respond directly to the Connecticut governor’s proposed state measure. “I can’t speak to any of the specific conversations that Governor Malloy may have had with the White House, but I certainly wouldn’t contradict what he said,” Earnest said. “. . . Connecticut has passed some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including measures enacted after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, when a gunman killed 20 schoolchildren and six staff members before killing himself. We know there are many local and state officials across the country who are quite concerned about the impact of gun violence on the communities that they govern.’’ But Earnest said the state-focused approach has “shortcomings. Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said it was unclear what the practical implications of Connecticut’s proposed ban would be in stopping someone who is determined to carry out an act of terrorism.

That person could simply travel to another state. “Seems to me that the greatest importance of this is to get the ball rolling so more people follow, and ideally the federal government,” Mr. The Senate, for example, failed last week to pass a measure that would permit the attorney general to deny firearms licenses to known or suspected terrorists, and Republicans have blocked a vote in the House. It fuses information gathered from many sources — including law enforcement, military and intelligence agencies, as well as foreign governments — and is used for various purposes, including keeping certain people off planes or blocking certain noncitizens from entering the country. During his three years on the list, he was unable to board a plane because of suspicions he was linked to terrorism, but he bought a .357 Magnum. “Never had any trouble with that,” he said of the gun purchase. Comey told lawmakers this week. “And if the transaction goes through,” he said, “the agents who are assigned to that case, to that subject, are alerted to it so they can investigate.” But only rarely are legal reasons found to prohibit the sale, according to federal auditors.

Obama is considering circumventing Congress and imposing a number of new gun restrictions through executive action, Democrats say they do not see a way to plug the watch list loophole without action from a reluctant Congress. Malloy has lobbied federal lawmakers on the issue. “I have previously written to Congress on this matter,” he said. “But inaction is not an option.

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