Gun Control

Feinstein Made Her Gun Control Bill Even Worse

The Senate will soon consider her proposal and two others aimed at stopping "suspected terrorists" from buying firearms.

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Senate video

The Senate, reacting to last week's massacre at an Orlando nightclub, will soon consider three different proposals aimed at preventing suspected terrorists from buying guns. The most constitutionally offensive is an amendment from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), while the least problematic is a bill sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), which would require that the Justice Department have enough evidence to support a terrorism charge if it wanted to block a firearm purchase longer than three days. The third proposal, from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), tries to split the difference between the Feinstein and Cornyn bills.

The reliably authoritarian Feinstein took her already egregious Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015 and managed to make it even worse, giving the Justice Department broader authority to block gun purchases and granting would-be buyers even less opportunity to get their Second Amendment rights back. Under Feinstein's 2015 bill, the attorney general can stop the transfer of a firearm if he "1) determines that the transferee is known (or appropriately suspected) to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material support or resources for terrorism" and "(2) has a reasonable belief that the prospective transferee may use a firearm in connection with terrorism." The amendment Feinstein introduced last Wednesday, by contrast, lets the attorney general block a sale if he "determines, based on the totality of the circumstances, that the transferee represents a threat to public safety based on a reasonable suspicion that the transferee is engaged, or has been engaged, in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material support or resources thereof."

In the revised version, there is no additional requirement that the attorney general have reason to believe the weapon the suspect is trying to buy will be used in a terrorist attack. Hence an old lady who cut a check to a Hamas-affiliated charity (thereby "providing material support" to terrorism and arguably threatening public safety) could be stopped from buying a handgun for self-defense even if there was no evidence that she planned any sort of attack with it. Feinstein's amendment also expands the dragnet beyond the FBI's so-called Terrorist Watchlist, which is believed to include more than 1 million people, to cover anyone who was under investigation for "conduct related to a federal crime of terrorism" during the previous five years. The Justice Department would be notified of attempted gun purchases by people who fit that description, giving it a chance to block the sales.

Feinstein's earlier bill notionally allows someone stripped of his Second Amendment rights to challenge the attorney general's decision, but on terms very favorable to the government, which need only show it is more likely than not that the statutory criteria were met. The upshot is that people could permanently lose their constitutional rights based a low probability that they are involved in terrorism—perhaps on the order of 10 or 15 percent, depending on how "appropriately suspected" and "reasonable belief" are defined. Feinstein apparently decided that standard was too demanding, because her amendment says only that someone wrongly prevented from buying a gun can make use of "the remedial procedures set forth in section 103(g) of Public Law 103-1059."

That provision of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act lets a would-be gun buyer ask the Justice Department to correct "erroneous system information" that resulted in a failed background check. If someone is mistaken for an actual terrorist with a similar name, this provision might help. But if he wants to contest the attorney general's determination that he "represents a threat to public safety," he is apparently out of luck. In fact, as with Feinstein's 2015 bill, the Justice Department might not even have to tell him why his gun purchase was blocked, since it can withhold "information that is likely to compromise national security or ongoing law enforcement operations."

Cornyn's proposal, which is supported by the National Rifle Association, evinces considerably more respect for due process and the Second Amendment. It allows the Justice Department to delay the transfer of a gun to someone who is "a known or suspected terrorist" or who has been "the appropriate subject of a terrorism investigation within the last five years." The government then has three days to persuade a judge there is probable cause to believe the suspect is involved in terrorism—the same standard that must be met to arrest someone. In that respect Cornyn's bill resembles the existing ban on gun purchases by people facing felony charges.

Collins is working on a Goldilocks proposal aimed at those who think that Feinstein's amendment gives the Justice Department too much power to disarm people but that Cornyn's bill gives it too little. Although her idea has not been completely fleshed out yet, The Wall Street Journal reports that it would ban gun sales to "terrorism suspects who appear on either the government's 'no-fly list' or on a separate 'selectee list' that requires additional screening at airports," as opposed to the broader Terrorist Watchlist. The Journal says "individuals could appeal the decision blocking the purchase of a firearm," but it's not clear what the government's burden would be. Collins also would require that the Justice Department be notified when someone who was on one of those lists in the previous five years tries to buy a gun.

That last provision, like the similar ones in Feinstein's amendment and Cornyn's bill, was written with someone like Omar Mateen, perpetrator of the Orlando attack, in mind. Mateen was investigated twice for possible terrorist connections and appeared on at least one watch list during those investigations, but his name was removed after the FBI found no evidence to substantiate its suspicions.

"Over the past decade," Feinstein complains, "91 percent of individuals who are known or suspected terrorists passed background checks, showing this is a pervasive problem. My amendment would simply allow the attorney general to block gun sales to these individuals, and closing this loophole is the least we could do to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks in our country." Those "suspected terrorists" passed background checks because there was no legal reason, such as a pending felony charge, a felony conviction, or a history of forcible psychiatric treatment, to prevent them from exercising their Second Amendment rights. That is not a loophole. That is the rule of law, which Feinstein would replace with the attorney general's whims.

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42 responses to “Feinstein Made Her Gun Control Bill Even Worse

  1. What’s due process

  2. We’re all suspected terrorists, now.

  3. That old crone is still alive?

  4. Feinstein’s not a sixth-grader. She knows her feels on the subject trump any constitutional due process demands.

    1. She’s not a lawyer either, but she’s been in the Senate a long time, so she knows the Constitution.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bzb9Hs2SmfQ

      ..and no right is absolute !

  5. Feinstein Made Her Gun Control Bill Even Worse

    “I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.”

  6. Feinstein complains, “91 percent of individuals who are known or suspected terrorists passed background checks, showing this is a pervasive problem.

    She’s right. Just not in the way she meant.

  7. My amendment would simply allow the attorney general to block gun sales to these individuals, and closing this loophole is the least we could do to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks in our country.” Those “suspected terrorists” passed background checks because there was no legal reason, such as a pending felony charge, a felony conviction, or a history of forcible psychiatric treatment, to prevent them from exercising their Second Amendment rights. That is not a loophole. That is the rule of law, which Feinstein would replace with the attorney general’s whims.

    To shitheads like Fienstein, any provision that allows anyone to legally buy a gun is a “loophole.” Of course, the mendacious cunts will never admit that.

  8. “””cover anyone who was under investigation for “conduct related to a federal crime of terrorism” during the previous five years. “””

    I am so cynicall that I bet there is a policy already in place that anyone investigated for terrorism must be reexamined every 5 years just so they keep the firearms ban.

  9. Maybe we should test out this gun ban by first banning the use of firearms by all security personnel who guard Congress and senior administration personnel?

  10. One of my friends got in a verbal argument with a person and was charged for terrorist acts. it doesn’t take much these days to be considered one.

    1. I doubt it

      Were they charged with Terroristic Threatening?

      That, for example , is HRS (penal code in Hawaii) term for what most states call ‘threats’ or ‘harassment’ etc

      It’s an overblown NAME but it does not qualify for the criteria mentioned here , as ‘problematic’ as they are

      ‘Conduct related to a federal crime of terrorism’ DOES NOT equal a threats charge Under state law, wherever name it has under that penal code

      1. But I bet it would still be able to land you on the list.

  11. So Feinstein is cool with the possibility that a future DOJ, unfriendly to progs and Occupy Wall Street types, would refrain from putting any of her supporters on the list?
    And what’s next? If someone somehow ends up on a terrorist list, do you want one of these people behind you in the grocery store checkout, or sitting near you at the ball game, or walking within 1,000 yards of your kids’ school? Maybe they need to be better identified…how about Sen. Feinstein proposing they all be required to wear a scarlet letter “T” to be visible whenever they are out in public?

    1. Her supporters don’t buy guns.

      1. Who says the rights violations will stop at guns? It would never end there.

  12. Feinstein’s earlier bill notionally allows someone stripped of his Second Amendment rights to challenge the attorney general’s decision, but on terms very favorable to the government, which need only show it is more likely than not that the statutory criteria were met.

    Jesus, this is likely to make the government’s victims MORE likely to engage in violence. FFS, don’t these dumbasses get it that people will eventually get fed up and doing actual violence. You can only step on someone so long before they decided to do something radically stupid…..

    1. THAT’S THE INTENDED PURPOSE!!!!

      You do realize that their power depends on them scaring the citizenry, right? They want the citizenry to perceive some people as dangers to them, and to turn to the state to protect them from these dangerous people. And if there are no real enemies, the state sows the seeds of rebellion among a few people and joyfully reaps the bountiful harvest of enemies they want.

  13. What do you expect? This is Senator “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in” Feinstein.

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    1. Hey Shayan, come work on my laptop. I’m sure you can do it too and I’ll show you how.

  15. “Cornyn’s bill resembles the existing ban on gun purchases by people facing felony charges.”

    With this difference: If the felony defendant is acquitted, or the charges are dismissed, he gets his gun rights back.

    Cornyn seems to be saying that a probably-cause finding is the end of the case, and that once probable cause if found, you’re banned from gun ownership for life, regardless of whether felony charges have been filed or whether they result in acquittal or dismissal.

    And in the version Cornyn offered last year, he seemed to refer to probable cause that someone has done *or will do* some terrorist-related thing. So there’s a Department of Pre-Crime aspect, IIRC.

    1. And forget about a jury of your peers considering whether you’ve done something to forfeit your firearms rights – Cornyn seems to cut juries out of the process altogether.

  16. There are two problems, one is specific and one is universal in this debate.

    1. The definition of terrorist or terrorism can change on a whim.

    2. Anti-gunners won’t stop until complete confiscation. Any gun control legislation they pass is deemed as a great “step” forward. A step forward to what? Confiscation. That is why you can’t negotiate with them.

  17. Feinstein is such a hypocritical buffoon. It was perfectly fine for her to be issued a CCW when she was a city official in SF, but heaven forbid anyone else need one.

  18. “The government then has three days to persuade a judge there is probable cause…”

    Oh, for fucks sake. The gubermint won’t need but 3 minutes. Would that happen to be one of those FISA judges who must review and sign shit with their eyes closed because they have never denied the gubermint shit. And it’s all done in secret.

  19. CNN is playing a video on their news site right now that purports to tell you all about assault weapons; claiming that the public is routinely buying rifles that cycle 600 rounds per minute, and including the Ruger 10-22 on its lists of top assault weapons.

    This is either [1] the nadir of journalism or [2] deliberate misinformation designed to influence those will uniformed opinions in the pursuit of their “well meaning” agenda[both are equally likely, but I’m betting on door number 2].

  20. That is the rule of law, which Feinstein would replace with the attorney general’s whims.

    That’s their dream scenario. They pass this law, then Queen Hillary becomes POTUS and declares the NRA to be a terrorist organization. Fap, fap, fap.

  21. I just had a Facebook debate (I know…) with this dude that was trying to argue that the 94 AWB “SAVED LIVES” among other things.

    After I debated him from a purely statistical, non political angle, he began to flail, and brought up global warming and ‘rape culture’. He then just went quiet.

    These people have no logic to stand on, and for the most part argue with people who are equally illogical.

    1. Like most ideologues, they aren’t interested in discussion – just spouting their views

      Imo, it is a moral imperative to enter any discussion with an open mind to the possibility your beliefs may be wrong

      If not – you are wrong before you enter the debate

  22. My evil side dreams of a day an administration puts Feinstein and her crowd on a secret list and refuses to remove her. “FYTW, Diane” – and prevents her (them) from flying, just to teach the lesson.

    This whole debate is a sham. There is nothing now preventing the FBI, which is clearly involved in the NICS system, from noting an attempted purchase by someone on this despicable secret list, opening an investigation into that individual, getting warrants, and doing what’s legally permitted to prevent that person from using the weapon in an act of terrorism.

    That the FBI Director and AG aren’t on Capitol Hill right now getting their asses handed to them for not doing just that is telling.

  23. As a texas permit holder, am I still exempt from NICS checks under these bills?

  24. Oberstrumfuhrer DiFi can be relied upon to trample ever harder upon the back of the neck of Americans who believe in the words of Dead White Men circa 1787. Meanwhile, don’t ask her about her firearms possession.
    Senator Vanilla of Maine can be relied upon in her attempts to not offend anyone in her pusillanimity.

  25. “loophole”

    Another word so abused by the left that it is now essentially meaningless.

  26. Feinstein should be on the terrorist list for terrorizing the US Constitution.

  27. As a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, she wasn’t much either.

  28. Considering that Feinstein is obviously mentally incompetent, why does the senate keep seating her?

  29. Again, Feinstein can’t be trusted farther than we can throw her in regards to the second amendment. She loves HER guns, her concealed carry permit and her armed body guards. She’s on my blog for the top gun grabbing politicians for sure. http://bullseyehuntingandshoot…..liticians/

  30. Does she not realize that so many people that shouldn’t be on the terrorist watch list are on it? Why doesn’t she get that fixed first before doing this? This is such an infringement of our rights.

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