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Senate Should Dump Phony Terror Cloak Bill, says Gun Law Expert
John M. Snyder -- Rest In Peace John M. Snyder -- Rest In Peace
Washington , DC
Wednesday, May 05, 2010

"A Senate committee considering a phony anti-terrorism bill should dump it and consider instead legislation to enable citizens to defend themselves against terrorists," gun rights expert John M. Snyder said here today.

A former National Rifle Association editor, Snyder is Public Affairs Director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Snyder noted that on Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, under Chairman Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, is slated to hold a hearing on S. 1317, by Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.

"While the bill is short-titled the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009, this is a phony designation," said Snyder. "It actually is a dangerous proposal to eviscerate or eliminate the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms. The bill actually is a cloak over an ideological anti-American gun owner agenda.

"It would place unprecedented authority in the hands of the Attorney General to deny someone his or her Second Amendment rights without having been convicted, or even charged with, any crime. Instead, under this legislation, someone whose name is added – for whatever reason – to a terrorist watch list suddenly can find himself or herself prohibited from purchasing a firearm, from exercising his or her constitutionally protected rights based on no more than suspicion."

Snyder added that, "While Lautenberg and others may describe S. 1317 as a measure to close a so-called 'terror loophole,' neither he nor anyone else has been able to explain how someone gets his or her name on a so-called 'terrorist watch list,' and it seems there is no way to delete someone's name from the list once it is there.

"The bill and its supporters fail to inform the public about the list itself. Who is on it? Why? Who puts one on it? How does one get his or her name placed on it? How does one get off it? Can a government official place on it the names of men and women considered unfriendly to or unsupportive of the government official? Can a journalist or anyone considered unfriendly to or unsupportive of a government official be placed on it? Can this happen without the subject's knowledge? Could one who supports, or opposes, any legislative program on any issue be placed on it?"

Snyder said "the bill opens up to general scrutiny the watch list itself. As it exists now, its potential for public abuse is incalculable. It is reminiscent of a star chamber. It is absolutely contrary to our American tradition of civil liberty, regardless of the particular issue up for debate.

"Rather than give the Attorney General the prerogative of placing the names of gun owners or anyone he wants on the watch list, what this Senate committee really needs to do is examine the watch list itself."

"The Times Square incident," said Snyder "underscores the threat from terrorists. Authorities have warned repeatedly about the probability of such threats. Terrorists can employ various means at various times and in various ways. Law-abiding citizens should be able to defend themselves and others from terrorists. To enable the people to do this, Congress should authorize national reciprocity for the carrying of concealed firearms by individuals who have state-issued CCW permits." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5rcQ9E7NAY)

John M. Snyder
Telum Associates, LLC
Arlington, VA
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