Brady Campaign Fights More Rights

The Brady Campaign is heavily supporting legislation to close a perceived “Terror Gap.”  This legislation aims to remove Second Amendment rights from American citizens that are on the Terror Watch List.  Directly from the Brady Campaign website:

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POSITION: As a way to strengthen the Brady background check system, the Brady Campaign supports the Terror Gap bill.
PROBLEM: There is a gaping hole in our nation’s firearm laws that terrorists can exploit. Federal authorities can’t stop sales of guns – including military-style assault weapons – by federally licensed gun dealers to known or suspected terrorists because of gaps in current law. Our definitions of those prohibited from purchasing guns from federally licensed dealers do not include those known and suspected terrorists.

THREAT: There is government-documented evidence that terrorists have armed themselves with guns purchased in the U.S.

URGENCY: This Terror Gap threatens our safety. We don’t want to wait until after a tragedy occurs. We can do something about it now.

SOLUTION: Congress must pass the bill to close the Terror Gap to stop known or suspected terrorists from buying guns.

GET ACTIVE: Contact your Representative and Senators to urge them to support the Terror Gap bill. The Senate bill is S. 1317.  The House bill is H.R. 2159.

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As you can see, this will affect the Second Amendment rights of those on the Terror Watch List.

While seeming appropriate on the surface, my problem with this is that those on the Terror Watch list are not allowed their rights under the Sixth Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution.

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

Suspected terrorists are placed on this list without any sort of trial or due process.  Most folks do not even know they are on the list.  Some are added mistakenly.  There does not seem to be any formal laws identifying what crimes or suspicions are considered to be added to the Terror Watch List.  This list is kept secret according to the FBI.

The existence of this list is a beneficial tool for law enforcement to keep the public safe.  Using this list to remove Constitutionally-guaranteed rights from American citizens without due process of trial is wrong.

If  allowed, it has the possibility to be expanded to remove gun rights from a wide swath of American Citizens.  Officials could put anybody on the Terror Watch List and remove rights by decree.  Merely expanding the definition of a terrorist could quickly cause problems for untold numbers of citizens.

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