Federal “Terrorist” Legislation Could Threaten Gun Owners

Currently before the House Judiciary Committee, “The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009 would authorize Attorney General Eric Holder to deny the sale or transfer of firearms to known or suspected terrorists—a list that could extend beyond groups such as radical Islamists and other groups connected to international terror organizations,” Fox News reported.

Who could argue about denying arms to terrorist? No one. Yet, with this bill, the devil’s in the details.

“Critics say the names of suspected terrorists could be drawn from existing government watch lists that cover such broad categories as animal rights extremists, Christian identity extremists, black separatists, anti-abortion extremists, anti-immigration extremists and anti-technology extremists.”

In effect, any group or people who someone might want to label as “extremist” or “anti.”

“It doesn’t say anything about trials and due process,” Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, told Fox News. “This is one of the most outrageous pieces of legislation to come along in some time. It’s basically saying, ‘I suspect you, so your rights are toast.’”

The bill’s Constitutionality was a big question.

“There is a Second Amendment right to hold and bear arms,” said Robert Cottrol, a law professor at George Washington University. “That right is not absolute, for instance with convicted criminals. But there would have to be an individualized determination, as in a trial, to prove someone is guilty of something before they are deprived of such a right.”

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