DHS Official: Using Terror Watch Lists To Infringe On Second Amendment Rights Would Not Be Appropriate

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Dec 17, 2015 7:08 PM
DHS Official: Using Terror Watch Lists To Infringe On Second Amendment Rights Would Not Be Appropriate

As we’ve seen after the horrific San Bernardino shootings earlier this month, President Obama and the Democrats want to integrate terrorism watch lists into our national background check system for gun purchases, despite the glaring lack of due process inherent within these webs of secret government lists; lists that would strip Americans of their constitutional rights on the mere suspicion of being terrorists. It’s wrong, and some officials at the Department of Homeland Security seem to agree. 

Alan Bersin, DHS’s Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, Chief Officer for the Office of Policy, testified before the House Oversight Committee earlier this morning on the how to better track and vet foreign nationals entering the United States who might be national security risks. When Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-TX) asked about whether these lists would be appropriate to curb a U.S. citizen’s right to firearms, Bersin said he didn’t believe that it would be proper:

REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD: “Alright, I guess my concern with this is there has been a lot of talk recently about using these watch lists for purposes other than they were intended. For instance, in determining whether or not Americans are able to exercise their rights under the second amendment. Do you think it is appropriate that these lists be used outside of what they were designed for?”

ASSISTANT HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS ALAN BERSIN: “I have not heard that and I don't believe that it would be -- and I believe it would be apples and oranges.”

REP. FARENTHOLD: “All right. Thank you very much.”

Nearly 300,000 people on these lists have zero ties to terrorism. The fact that the lion share of these people are non-citizens living outside of the U.S. makes them ineligible to buy firearms. It’s estimated around 10,000 Americans are on these lists, but one could argue that this move by the Obama administration is a soft attempt to limit access to firearms for people who haven’t been convicted of anything. This president, and his party, wants to limit the number of guns in civilian hands, so if 10,000 people have to be sacrificed–then so be it. Fortunately, not everyone at DHS is brain dead on this issue.

It was quite departure from last week's hearing, where Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) grilled another DHS official on the due process of law, regarding these lists and their possible use to infringe on the Second Amendment. 

Friendly Reminder: At least 72 DHS employees are on the terror watch list.