|CSGV STATEMENT ON “TERROR GAP” VOTE IN HOUSE
|Washington, D.C.—The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) was deeply disappointed to see the House Appropriations Committee vote 29-19 today to continue to allow individuals on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List to purchase firearms. All the committee’s Republicans, along with two Democrats, voted against an amendment offered by ranking member Nita Lowey (D-NY) that would have barred such sales.In the aftermath of a crisis in which armed terrorists locked down a major American city, this is unfathomable.
The “Terror Gap” hampers law enforcement’s ability to safeguard homeland security and is a direct threat to public safety. A U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation found that individuals on the Terrorist Watch List successfully purchased guns 1,321 times between February 2004 and December 2010.
In 2011, al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn recorded a video message urging the group’s followers to exploit weak American gun laws to acquire assault weapons and other firearms.
This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. President George W. Bush supported closing the Terror Gap as did 9/11 Commission Chair Thomas Kean. During the past decade, we’ve made airline travel far safer by taking extra steps to screen passengers who have been investigated for terrorist affiliations and/or activity. It’s long past time to apply the same common sense to gun purchases.
In similar party line votes, the committee also set back efforts to crack down on illegal gun trafficking in this country, voting to extend restrictions on the release of crime gun trace data by the ATF and block the agency from requiring gun dealers to report bulk sales of assault rifles on the southwest border.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy.