Debate:Should gun sales to terror suspects be allowed?

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From Associated Press

The National Rifle Association is urging the Bush administration to withdraw its support of a bill that would prohibit suspected terrorists from buying firearms.
Backed by the Justice Department, the measure would give the attorney general the discretion to block gun sales, licenses or permits to terror suspects.

The article goes on to say:

A 2005 study by the Government Accountability Office found that 35 of 44 firearm purchase attempts over a five-month period made by known or suspected terrorists were approved by the federal law enforcement officials.

That study can be found at

Background on the bill in question can be found at and the complete text of the proposed bill can be found at


Sure: more terrorist attacks --> more people will want to buy guns --> greater demand for guns, funerals and medical care --> very good for the economy!

Middle Man

If you mean the lady labeled a terror suspect by Echelon. While talking to her friend over the phone she mentioned how her son bombed in the school play. She was tagged as a potential terrorist since it couldn't be verified exactly what was meant by her use of the word bomb. Suspects, why not? Actual terrorists, absolutely not. Political activists have been labeled as terror suspects and put on no-fly lists. If you're only a suspect, then your innocent of any crime. Innocent until proven guilty, anyone ever hear of that one?--Roopilots6 16:16, 7 May 2007 (EDT)

I know what you mean, but since this was only about 44 purchases over the last 5 months, I'd have to say these people were pretty serious suspects.


Every American has a constitutional right to own a firearm.Rebiu 23:14, 10 May 2007 (EDT)

Or do they? --WikinterpreterLiaise with the cabal?

Hardly. peoples with felony convictions cannot, nor can people under the ages of 18 and 21, nor people who have not taken the approriate classes. Terrorist suspects CERTAINLY should not be allowed to, nor should they be allowed to fly--RoyceG 19:44, 1 January 2010 (EST)


This is a fools notion. First of all a) anybody on a terror watch list should not be in the United States to begin with. b) I am quite sure terrorists would not abide by USA law and attempt to by firearms legally, regardless of the GAO articles assertions. This question, an attempt by liberals to mock the conservative NRA, is without merit. We worry about terrorists acquiring weapons, let's just make sure that they don't acquire nuclear, anywhere in the world, first.--jp 23:03, 5 May 2007 (EDT)

On the wire's today "...feared the group was on the verge of carrying out an attack on Fort Dix. The men were arrested Monday night as they tried to buy AK-47 assault weapons, M-16s and other weapons from an FBI informant, authorities said.

Sounds like they were trying to obtain weapons Illegally. Also mentioned that a least one was an illegal alien.--jp 13:13, 10 May 2007 (EDT)

Yeah, foreigners have a special gene that allows them to become terrorists: Timothy McVeigh was an illegal alien too! MiddleMan

I think that Jpatt's reference to illegal immigration was not intended to label foreigners as terrorists. I rather beleive that he was trying to point out the fact that our current immigration policy leaves us vulnerable to terrorists who can (and probably are doing so) get into are country easily. --BenjaminS 12:11, 11 May 2007 (EDT)

I think it's an unfounded witch hunt: why would a potential terrorist risk being caught this way, if he could just as easily get his paperwork right without drawing any suspicion? Not to mention terrorists born and raised in the United States.


That's the problem!! He is hardly risking getting caught! We need to tighten the borders. We need to gaurd against the very possibility that a terrorist could immigrate.

--Ben Talk 12:19, 11 May 2007 (EDT)

How are you gonna recognize a potential terrorist? Color of his skin (there are plenty of white Muslims in Europe), or do you propose not letting in any Muslims anymore? (People can hide things, you know.)

And how's that going to protect America against domestic terrorists à la Timothy McVeigh, or Muslims who were born American?


Are you asking how we are going to recognize a potential terrorist among legal immigrants?

Answer to 2nd question: It isn't. We need to take other measures against them. (Though I don't see what that has to do with illegal immigration.)

--Ben Talk 12:37, 11 May 2007 (EDT)

Well yes, I want to know how you can see someone will carry out a terrorist attack someday. MiddleMan

You can't know that they will for sure. What's your point? --Ben Talk 12:51, 11 May 2007 (EDT)

Then how do you know who you can let in, and who you can't let in? MiddleMan

You make them immigrate legally. I believe that there are currently a number of qualifications for legal immigration. While you will not be able to sort out every terrorist, it is better than letting in everyone who wants in. --Ben Talk 13:00, 11 May 2007 (EDT)

My point was that given enough ingenuity and resources, someone could always fool the system, and it's foolish to think that will ever change, no matter how many precautions you take, someone will alway find a way around them... MiddleMan