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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

To Fly or Not to Fly: Current Legislation on Gun Sales

2016 August 16

One of the most contentious issues in 2016 has been the question of gun control. The most recent action, a Senate amendment to HR 2578 is being led by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) who proposes a prohibition on gun sales to people on the FBI’s “No Fly List”.

Sen. Collins’s amendment would apply to suspected terrorists who are banned from air travel in the United States and would revoke their right to purchase firearms.

This amendment SA 4858, also known as the “Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act of 2016”, focuses on those who are listed on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database for being known or reasonably suspected of engaging in terrorist activities. Individuals in this database can be on the “No Fly List” restricting them from air travel in the United States, or the “Selectee List” which requires them to undergo more questioning and screening.

The main purpose of the bill is to prohibit these suspected terrorists from purchasing guns. “Essentially we believe that if you are too dangerous to fly on an airplane, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun,” Collins said.

American citizens and green-card holders can appeal a denial of a firearm sale in the U.S. Court of Appeals to ensure that there is no infringement on due process rights. If the government cannot provide evidence that the person presents a substantial terrorist threat, then the citizen’s Second Amendment right would be returned and the legal fees of the case would be covered.

In addition, the amendment ...

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