A handful of left-wing Republican senators joined Senate Democrats in pushing legislation to strip Americans on the No Fly and Selectee Lists - subsets of the broader Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) - of Second Amendment rights absent due process.
Named the “Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act,” the proposed legislation would empower the Attorney General to prohibit the sale of firearms to persons on the No Fly and Selectee Lists. If passed, the bill would also allow Americans and green card holders on said lists to appeal such prohibitions. Successful appellants would recover legal costs and restore their rights to keep and bear arms. The bill also proposes an alert system which would notify the FBI of firearms sales to persons on the TDSB.
The two lists contain a total of approximately 109,000 persons, claimed Collins, of whom she said “the vast majority” are foreigners. The broader TDSB, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Monday, contains the names of about 1,000,000 persons, of whom she said about 5,000 are Americans.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) joined Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Sen. Angus King (I-ME) in a group presentation before the press.
The bill’s passage would amount to “getting something significant done,” according to Collins, the bill’s sponsor. “If you’re too dangerous to fly on an airplane, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun,” added Collins.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., talks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 21, 2016 in Washington.
“We’re at war, and I don’t know how to protect our nation without really changing the way we do business in a fashion that makes sense,” said Graham, adding that he viewed the likelihood of the bill preventing terrorism a greater than the likelihood of an “innocent person” being incorrectly or unjustly having his or her constitutional rights violated.
“We can fix the problem with the innocent person,” said Graham. “Once the gun’s bought, you don’t fix that.”
“If we can’t pass this, it truly is a broken system up here,” concluded Graham.
King described the proposal as a “rational middle ground” that reflected “good old Maine common sense.”
Despite proposing an infringement of Americans' constitutional rights via secret government methodologies - albeit it with a possibility of appeal - the senators claimed to understand and be concerned about due process.
One reporter at the event described the proposed appeal system as "retroactive due process".
"If there are 2700 people that are so dangerous they can't fly or buy a gun, why doesn't the government just round them up, now?" asked another reporter. Collins claimed the government lacks "probable cause," and has an insufficient level of evidence existed to bring charges against the suspects.]
No legislative proposals to restrict the entry of Muslims as immigrants, refugees, or visitors have been proposed by the aforementioned senators to combat Islamic terrorism.
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