Sunday, May 31, 2009

No Fly, No Buy: Using Homeland Security's "No-Fly" List To Launch Another Assault On The Second Amendment Via Rep. Carolyn McCarthy's H.R. 2401

Proponents of gun control are concerned about the relationship between the Department of Homeland Security's infamous "no-fly" list and gun ownership. Through investigation, they found that many on the no-fly list were able to legally purchase firearms in the United States. They object to this, because they believe that so-called "terrorists" on the no-fly list could purchase firearms. The FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Operations report showed 230 legal purchases in 2006 by people on the no-fly list, and 220 such purchases in 2005.

In 2005, they pushed for a legislative solution. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced H.R. 1195, which would have essentially migrated the entire no-fly list into the FBI's NICS database, effectively denying anyone on the no-fly list the right to legally bear arms. Rep. McCarthy delivered her sales pitch HERE. The problem with H.R. 1195 is that it would have denied a person a fundamental formally-specified constitutional right without due process, which in itself is a constitutional violation.

Homeland Security frequently places people on the "no-fly" list for arbitrary, subjective reasons. They will use input from unreliable sources, such as information supplied by foreign governments, or rumors or allegations by cowardly snitches who are trying to impress law enforcement officials. The target is not offered an opportunity to challenge or contest the designation in advance; in nearly every case, it occurs without the target's knowledge. Thus if people on the no-fly list are automatically denied to right to bear arms, it means their Second Amendment rights have also been denied in advance without the person's knowledge. And getting removed from the no-fly list is excruciatingly difficult; when Senator Ted Kennedy found himself on it, it took three weeks to remove him, even with the personal intervention of then-DHS Secretary Tom Ridge. Imagine how difficult it would be for an ordinary person to get his name removed.

Although H.R. 1195 proved short-lived thanks to a Second Amendment-friendly President in office at the time, the gun-grabbers, emboldened by the presence of one of their own in the White House now, are back for an encore. Rep. McCarthy, with the co-sponsorship of Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), has now introduced H.R. 2401, which has the stated purpose of increasing public safety and reduce the threat to domestic security by including persons who may be prevented from boarding an aircraft in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and for other purposes. But like H.R. 1195, it also will essentially migrate the entire no-fly list into the FBI's NICS database, effectively denying anyone on the no-fly list the right to legally bear arms. In addition, an individual who innocently attempts to purchase a gun, not knowing that he's on the no-fly list and automatically sanctioned, could actually be charged by predatory, conviction-hungry prosecutors with attempting to illegally purchase a gun. Don't forget what Brenda Morris tried to do to Ted Stevens; DOJ is loaded with opportunistic predators looking to build a glittering resume for future private practice, as well as also sheltering a number of incompetent affirmative action hacks.

Read H.R. 2401 HERE.

Listen to Alex Jones' perspective on H.R. 2401 in the embedded video below:

The implications of H.R. 2401 are staggering. If they can enshrine this assault on due process, it will open up the door to a host of human rights violations by the American government. Once the principle has been established that constitutional rights can be taken away based on suspicion, and without due process, the principle will not be merely restricted to the Second Amendment. The No-Fly list will also be used as pretext to deny Americans on the list the option to own a computer or use the Internet (billed as a key source of "terrorist" communications), or perhaps deny them certain types of employment. If the courts uphold stripping a person’s Second Amendment rights based on suspicion, there is no principled reason for a court to reject the stripping of any other constitutional rights. Read David Kopel's analysis HERE. The National Rifle Association has also weighed in against this bill.

H.R. 2401 is currently in the House Judiciary Committee. Second Amendment Sisters believes it will be farmed out to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, and provide contact information on its members HERE. However, it would be prudent to contact all House members and make sure they're at least aware of the existence of H.R. 2401, and the unfavorable impact it will have on the Second Amendment and due process. Find out how to contact your representative HERE.

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