Should people on the no-fly list be allowed to legally buy a gun?
At first, it may sound like a no-brainer to keep guns away from accused terrorists. However, innocent people do end up on the no-fly list and other terrorist watch lists.
According to a Huffington Post article, here are 7 ways that someone could end up on a terrorist watch list:
1. You could raise “reasonable suspicion” that you’re involved in terrorism. “Irrefutable evidence or concrete facts” are not required.
2. You could post something on Facebook or Twitter that raises “reasonable suspicion.”
3. Or somebody else could just think you’re a potential terror threat.
4. You could be a little terrorist-ish, at least according to someone.
5. Or you could just know someone terrorist-y, maybe.
6. And if you’re in a “category” of people determined to be a threat, your threat status could be “upgraded” at the snap of a finger.
7. Finally, you could just be unlucky.
Clearly, not everyone on this list is an actual terrorist. These people will not know that they are under suspicion until they try to catch a flight and are denied entry. They may then try to get off the list… but, good luck. It’s basically impossible to remove yourself from the list.
Even the ACLU, known to be a liberal organization, sees problems with people on the no-fly list being banned from purchasing guns. ACLU National Security Project director Hina Shamsi says, “The standards for inclusion on the No Fly List are unconstitutionally vague, and innocent people are blacklisted without a fair process to correct government error.”
Here’s the thing: the Second Amendment says that we have a right to own a gun.
The proposal being talked about in Congress would take away that right without due process. A person on the no-fly list has only been secretly accused of terrorism. They haven’t had a trial and they haven’t been convicted of anything.
Some have argued that there are ways to get yourself off the list. As discussed above, it’s very difficult and often takes years and tons of paperwork to do so. But even if the process of removal was streamlined, there would still be constitutional issues.
The government would still be taking away rights based on suspicion and it’s up to the accused person to get their rights back from government.
Even if you’re not a gun person, hopefully you can see the problem with government denying rights without due process.
Don’t ban guns from people on the no-fly list.