Closing The Terrorist Watchlist Gun Loophole

By: Meredith Kelly

Speaker Ryan in his own words: “the first duty of our government is to keep the American people safe.” By that measure, he is willfully neglecting to do his job – his self-described top duty as Speaker – by refusing to bring legislation to a vote that would close a loophole that allows suspected terrorists on the FBI’s Terror Watch List from buying lethal weapons.


Headline: AP: “Paul Ryan Balks Over Blocking Gun Sales To People On Terror Watch List.” [AP, 11/20/15]

Speaker Ryan Dismissed Closing Terrorist Watch List Gun Loophole As A “Distraction.” “House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday panned President Barack Obama’s call to ban people on the federal no-fly list from buying guns, calling it “a distraction” from the broader war on terror.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 12/8/15]

Headline: New York Daily News: “GOP blocks House debate on bill to stop suspected terrorists from buying guns.” [New York Daily News, 12/2/15]

House GOP Blocked Debate On Bill To Close Loophole Allowing Suspected Terrorists To Legally Buy Guns. “They won’t even talk about it. Hard-headed House Republicans blocked a debate Tuesday on a bill that would close a loophole allowing suspected terrorists to legally buy guns. . . . The gun-loving Republicans — and their National Rifle Association backers — have successfully blocked the bipartisan bill, which would allow the attorney general to bar sales of firearms and explosives to those on the no-fly list, since a version was first introduced in 2007.” [New York Daily News, 12/2/15]

Headline: Politico: “GOP unmoved on gun control as massacres pile up.” [Politico, 12/3/15]

Headline: Washington Post’s Wonkblog: “From 2004 to 2014, over 2,000 terror suspects legally purchased guns in the United States.” [Wonkblog, Washington Post, 11/16/15]

GAO Found Suspected Terrorists Successfully Purchased Guns In U.S. More Than 2,000 Times Between 2004-2014. “But people on the FBI’s consolidated terrorist watchlist — typically placed there when there is “reasonable suspicion” that they are a known or suspected terrorist — can freely purchase handguns or assault-style rifles. And, as the GAO found, a number of them do: Between 2004 and 2014, suspected terrorists attempted to purchase guns from American dealers at least 2,233 times. And in 2,043 of those cases — 91 percent of the time — they succeeded.” [Wonkblog, Washington Post, 11/16/15]