If you’re on the terrorist watch list in America you may not be able to board a plane or get a visa, but you can get your gun. Nine out of ten who tried were successful because there was no legal way to stop them. One person on the list was able to buy 50 pounds of explosives, according to a report out next week from the Government Accountability Office.
Gun purchases must be approved unless federal officials can find some other disqualification of the would-be buyer, like being a felon, an illegal immigrant or a drug addict.
“This is a glaring omission, and it’s a security issue,” Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who requested the study, said in an interview.
Mr. Lautenberg plans to introduce legislation on Monday that would give the attorney general the discretion to block gun sales to people on terror watch lists.
The list has grown to more than a million, but 24,000 names are based on wrong information. And the NRA uses that statistic to argue for the right of those on the list to get guns. Lautenberg tried once before to get this fixed but NRA lobbying thwarted the attempt.