ACLU: That Collins Gun Control Amendment Is Terrible

Posted: Jun 23, 2016 12:15 PM

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which isn't exactly known for being a bastion of conservative thought, had some pretty harsh words for the Sen. Collins (R-ME) gun control amendment: they "strongly urged" members of the Senate to vote against the amendment as the no-fly lists are vague and riddled with errors.

The ACLU strongly urges you to vote against the Collins Amendment because it uses the error-prone and unfair watchlist system, along with vague and overbroad terms, as a predicate for a proceeding to deny a firearms permit. The Collins Amendment relies on both the No Fly List, by codifying its criteria, and the Selectee List, by direct reference. Relying on these lists would open the door to arbitrary and discriminatory government action.

The Collins Amendment would further entrench a watchlist system that is rife with problems. As we have long cautioned, our nation’s watchlisting system is error-prone and unreliable because it uses vague and overbroad criteria and secret evidence to place individuals on blacklists without a meaningful process to correct government error and clear their names. The government's internal guidance for watchlists specifies that nominations to the master watchlist need not be based on “concrete facts,” and it permits placement on the master watchlist based on uncorroborated or even questionably reliable information.

The ACLU then went on to criticize the Collins Amendment for lacking "even the most basic" protections of due process.

Meanwhile on the House floor, the Democrats were having a sit in/slumber party of sorts over lack of a vote on gun control. National Review's Charles C. W. Cooke pointed out the irony that civil rights activists were now having a sit in against expanded civil liberties.

When you've lost the ACLU, it's probably a good time to stop.