Dianne Feinstein: Allowing suspected terrorists to buy guns is insanity

To the editor: I find it shocking that The Times believes a known or suspected terrorist should be able to legally purchase firearms and explosives. ("Should people on the no-fly list be able to buy guns? Yes," editorial, Dec. 7)

The Times editorial said that only individuals who are charged and convicted of a crime should be denied a firearm. That would be a critical mistake.


Federal law currently prohibits nine categories of people from buying weapons. These include not only criminals such as felons, fugitives and domestic abusers, but also drug addicts, the mentally ill, undocumented immigrants, those subject to a restraining order and individuals who have renounced U.S. citizenship or been dishonorably discharged from the military.

Our bill would add a 10th category: those determined by the attorney general to be known or suspected terrorists who may use a weapon to commit a terrorist act.

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Prohibited purchasers include both individuals convicted of crimes as well as others who have not been convicted but may pose a risk to themselves or others. And it's important to note that these prohibitions have been upheld by the courts.

Also, an individual in any of these categories who is denied a weapon has the right to appeal and sue in federal court. Our bill would maintain that right.

There's no single solution to prevent every terrorist attack, but we have a duty to prevent as many as we can. That includes denying terrorists the ability to legally purchase weapons. This legislation would help accomplish that while respecting 2nd Amendment rights.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California)


To the editor: That San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook was characterized as a "normal guy" by someone who worked at a range where he practiced with a military-style weapon is a compelling argument for gun control.

There are too many "normal guys," terrorists all, killing people with assault weapons in this country. Remarkably, the 2nd Amendment's fiercest advocates have become the terrorists' enablers.

Ray McKown, Los Angeles

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