By Rep John Conyers
It is widely known by now that there is a massive loophole in our gun laws. Persons on the terrorist watch list, which prevents them from boarding airplanes, are permitting to buy guns -- even huge 50 caliber rifles that can shoot down planes. Thanks a recent GAO study by Sen. Lautenberg, we know the loophole exists and scores of persons on the list have bought guns.
Yesterday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and I offered a common sense amendment in the Judiciary Committee to a crime bill to close the loophole. All of the sudden, GOP members were quite concerned about due process and getting on the list and voted down our amendment. We responded that under current procedures, if a person is wrongly placed on the watch list, they can clear their name. But that was not good enough, and apparently gun rights trumped the rights of all Americans to be free of terrorism. Another bad day on the Committee.