Christie has stated previously he has no problems with the Obama administration’s initiative of banning Americans on terror watch lists from buying guns, despite that fact that these people have never been convicted of any crime related to such heinous charges. The reason: he already signed into law a similar piece of legislation back in 2013. Granted, this law is only in effect in New Jersey, but Christie showed he has no regrets over signing the bill. As you already know, being convicted of a crime is necessary in order for Americans’ rights to be stripped, specifically (depending on the charge) the right to vote and own firearms. Such a process is nonexistent for Americans, of which there are probably around 10,000, who have their names on such lists.
In a meeting with The Des Moines Register, the New Jersey governor admitted that there are problems with due process relating to getting one’s name off the terror watch list, let alone finding out if you have been added to it. Yet, even knowing the lack of due process inherent within this Bush-era anti-terror policy, Christie says he doesn’t regret signing it into law in New Jersey. The weird part is that the governor seems to know the problem. He also knows that the solution–getting one’s name off the list–is not possible at present without due process.
So, even though this policy sets the Fifth Amendment on fire, we should adopt this nationally because we could just fix it in the interim? I’d rather have a politician who wouldn’t sign a bill that has such gross constitutional violations in the first place. Heck, even the anti-gun LA Times finds the practice appalling, aptly noting that stripping one’s constitutional rights based on mere suspicion is appalling. Codifying that principle into law is even more ghastly.
I’ll let National Review’s Charles Cooke have the last word:
We are talking here, remember, about an enumerated constitutional right. In fact, we are talking about two enumerated constitutional rights: the right to due process and the right to keep and bear arms. If Chris Christie believes that the unfounded suspicions of the executive branch should trump those protections, that is his prerogative. But those voting in the upcoming primaries should think long and hard about whether they agree with him. Do we really want to put a man with this attitude in the Oval Office of the White House?