Author Topic: GOP blocks bill to stop terrorists from buying guns  (Read 1203 times)

Offline imchills

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GOP blocks bill to stop terrorists from buying guns
« on: June 13, 2016, 02:00:08 pm »
Senate Republicans rejected a bill that aims to stop suspected terrorists from legally buying guns, on Thursday.  The vote came a day after at least 14 people were killed during the San Bernardino massacre in California by two suspects, including a woman said to have pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Forty-five senators voted for the bill and 54 voted against it. One Democrat, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and one Republican, Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, crossed party lines.

The measure would have denied people on the terrorist watch list the ability to buy guns.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who sponsored the legislation, argued that former President George W. Bush initially proposed the legislation in 2007, and the Obama administration also supports it.

“If you need proof that Congress is a hostage to the gun lobby, look no further than today’s vote blocking a bill to prevent known or suspected terrorists from buying guns and explosives,” she said. “Congress has been paralyzed by the gun lobby for years, while more and more Americans are killed in mass shootings. The carnage won’t stop until Congress finds the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and protect the nation.”

The NRA did not respond to a request on Friday for comment. But the gun rights lobby group told MSBC last month it wants to ensure that Americans who are wrongly on the terrorist list are are afforded their constitutional right to due process.

However, the bill would allow people to legally challenge a denial by the Justice Department to purchase a firearm, if they believe they were mistakenly placed on the terrorist watchlist.

The GOP-controlled Senate refusal to pass new gun control measures came weeks after the Washington Post reported that suspected terrorists had successfully purchased more than 2,000 guns from American dealers between 2004 and 2014, even though law enforcement is notified whenever someone on the FBI’s watchlist attempts to purchase a firearm...

Offline Battle

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Re: GOP blocks bill to stop terrorists from buying guns
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2016, 03:02:47 am »
That's because the gop is Brain-Dead. >:(

Offline Vic Vega

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Re: GOP blocks bill to stop terrorists from buying guns
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2016, 01:39:53 pm »
How would one "accidentally" get on a watch list?

That takes some doing.

But this, like everything else that Congress does to appease the NRA will go largely unremarked.

You might also ask yourself why the Center For Disease Control never looks at Gun Deaths. They've been told by Congress what will happen to them if they even think about doing that study.

Offline Battle

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Re: GOP blocks bill to stop terrorists from buying guns
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 08:17:46 pm »
Wednesday, 4th September 2019
US Judge Rules Terror Watchlist Violates Constitutional Rights


(ALEXANDRIA, Va) — The government's watchlist of more than 1 million people identified as "known or suspected terrorists" violates the constitutional rights of those placed on it, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

he ruling from U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga grants summary judgment to nearly two dozen Muslim U.S. citizens who had challenged the watchlist with the help of a Muslim civil-rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

But the judge is seeking additional legal briefs before deciding what remedy to impose.

The plaintiffs said they were wrongly placed on the list and that the government's process for adding names is overbroad and riddled with errors.

The watchlist is disseminated to a variety of governmental departments, foreign governments and police agencies.

The FBI declined comment on the ruling Wednesday.

In court, the FBI's lawyers argued that the difficulties suffered by the plaintiffs pale in comparison to the government's interests in combatting terrorism.

Gadeir Abbas, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, called the ruling a victory.

He said he will be asking the judge to severely curtail how the government compiles and uses its list.

"Innocent people should be beyond the reach of the watchlist system," Abbas said.

"We think that's what the Constitution requires."

Abbas said that while there has been significant litigation over the no-fly list, which forced the government to improve the process for people seeking to clear their name from the list, he said Trenga's ruling is the first to broadly attack the government's use of the watchlist.

Trenga also wrote in his 31-page ruling that the case "presents unsettled issues."

Ultimately, Trenga ruled that the travel difficulties faced by plaintiffs — who say they were handcuffed at border crossings and frequently subjected to invasive secondary searches at airports — are significant, and that they have a right to due process when their constitutional rights are infringed.

He also said the concerns about erroneous placement on the list are legitimate.

"There is no evidence, or contention, that any of these plaintiffs satisfy the definition of a 'known terrorist," Trenga wrote.

And the alternate standard for placement — that of a "suspected terrorist" — can easily be triggered by innocent conduct that is misconstrued, he said.

The watchlist, also known as the Terrorist Screening Database, is maintained by the FBI and shared with a variety of federal agencies.

Customs officers have access to the list to check people coming into the country at border crossings, and aviation officials use the database to help form the no-fly list, which is a much smaller subset of the broader watchlist.

The watchlist has grown significantly over the years.

As of June 2017, approximately 1.16 million people were included on the watchlist, according to government documents filed in the lawsuit.

In 2013, the number was only 680,000.

The vast majority are foreigners, but according to the government, there are roughly 4,600 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents on the watchlist as of 2017.

Abbas argued at a court hearing earlier this year that the intrusions imposed on those listed are all for naught and that the list is worthless in terms of preventing terrorism.

He noted that Omar Mateen, the man who shot and killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub in 2016, was at one time on the list but was later removed from it.

Others who have committed terrorist acts have never even been included on the watchlist.

The suit was filed in 2016, and has exposed previously unknown details about the list and how it is disseminated.

In particular, government lawyers acknowledged after years of denials that more than 500 private entities are given access to the list.

Government lawyers describe those private agencies as "law enforcement adjacent" and include university police forces, and security forces and hospitals, railroads and even animal-welfare organizations.

Abbas said the revelations about the government's actions have come after years of dismissive responses from government officials who accused CAIR and others of paranoia, and that people are now paying more attention to the civil-rights implications of watchlisting.

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives adopted a proposal from Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar that would force puppetine's administration to disclose details about how it shares the watchlist with foreign countries.

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Offline Battle

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Re: GOP blocks bill to stop terrorists from buying guns
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2019, 11:02:32 am »
Monday, 9th September 2019
Judge says terrorism watch list violates civil rights of Muslims
by Niraj Warikoo

Anans Elhady of Dearborn was driving back into Detroit over the Ambassador Bridge in April 2015 after vacationing in Canada.

At the border, Elhady was surrounded by Customs and Border Protection officers, handcuffed, and then put in a freezing cold cell for more than 10 hours without shoes or a jacket, a lawsuit alleges.

The then 21-year-old Elhady, a U.S. citizen, was repeatedly interrogated, asked about his family and friends.

"After several hours, Mr. Elhady knocked on the door repeatedly and begged for someone to help him," the lawsuit said.

"His pleas for help were ignored. Afterward, his body began shaking uncontrollably and he fell unconscious."

He was taken in handcuffs to a hospital, where he was administered life support.
Elhady, who is Muslim and of Yemeni descent, said he had similar negative encounters with law enforcement during border crossings and airplane travel despite having no criminal or terrorism record.

His experience is shared by many other Muslims living in Michigan and across the U.S. who say that a FBI terrorism watch list has subjected them to years of profiling, harassment, missed flights, and abuse.

Last week, a federal judge in Virginia appointed by President George W. Bush ruled in his favor, saying the terror watch list created by the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center — which has about 1.2 million people on it — violates the rights of Muslims.

People are placed on the list without their knowledge and are unable to redress their grievances, said Judge Anthony Trenga of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

In 2016, attorneys from metro Detroit and the Washington D.C. area with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed a lawsuit on behalf of Elhady and about 20 other Muslims — most of them residents of Michigan — against U.S. government agencies.

The judge's 32-page decision on Wednesday  was hailed by Muslim and civil rights advocates as a major victory.

For decades, Muslims say they have been subject to profiling and targeted scrutiny by federal law enforcement, asked questions about their worship practices, detained, and threatened in some cases.

"The judge's ruling was a historic victory on behalf of all Americans and one of the most significant victories for the American Muslim community," Lena Masri, National Litigation Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the Free Press on Friday.

"The list violates the most basic due process rights of Americans because they're being added to a watch list without any type of process or opportunity to contest their status."

Masri, who previously was in Farmington Hills, filed the lawsuit for the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations along with Troy attorney Shereef Akeel and another CAIR attorney in Washington D.C.

Judge Trenga is asking the U.S. government and CAIR attorneys to come up with possible solutions to changing how the terrorist watch list is compiled so that it doesn't violate constitutional rights and discriminate.

They have 60 days to file their proposals, Masri said.

In his ruling, Trenga wrote:

“The vagueness of the standard for inclusion in the TSDB (Terrorist Screening Database), coupled with the lack of any meaningful restraint on what constitutes grounds for placement on the Watchlist, constitutes, in essence, the absence of any ascertainable standard for inclusion and exclusion, which is precisely what offends the Due Process Clause."

Trenga cited the case of Elhady of Dearborn in his ruling.

When Elhady tried to cross the border at other times, he was questioned for four to 12 hours, asked about his religious practices, what mosque he prays in, and what sect of Islam he belongs to.
The Terrorist Screening Center was established in 2003 by former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The terrorist watch list later grew to more than 1.5 million people at one point, said CAIR attorneys.

Trenga wrote:

"listing is disseminated to and used by federal, state, and foreign government agencies and officials to support various diplomatic and security functions and does trigger a variety of other consequences, including restrictions on an individual's ability to travel."

In his decision, Trenga granted CAIR's request for a summary judgement before the case went to trial.

The lawsuit was brought against several U.S. government agencies and officials, including the director of the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database, the director of the Department of Homeland Security's Traveler Redress Inquiry Program, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, director of the FBI, and the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Justice Department attorneys are defending the federal agencies in the lawsuit.

Spokesman for the FBI and the Department of Justice declined Friday to comment.

The Department of Homeland Security's media office did not respond to an email seeking comment.

On its website, the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center said placing people on their terrorist list is not "based solely on race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, or First Amendment-protected activities such as free speech, the exercise or religion, freedom of the press, freedom of peaceful assembly, and petitioning the government for redress of grievances."

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he hopes the judge's ruling can bring some relief for Muslim Americans.

"We feel vindicated," Walid said Friday.

"We complained for years of unwarranted targeting of the Muslim community by the FBI, and the federal judge basically agreed with some of our concerns in terms of finding the federal terrorism watch list to be illegal. So we hope that this will get some relief for American Muslims flying in airports and crossing international borders."

Walid said that this summer while traveling by plane, he received a boarding pass with "SSSS" marked on it, which indicates that a traveler may be a suspect and subject to questioning that lead to flight delays, even if the traveler has no criminal record.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit said they see the "SSSS" designation on their boarding passes, which signifies to airlines and federal officials they may be suspected terrorists.

The designation is shared with state and local agencies, making it difficult for the plaintiffs in other areas of life, such as interactions with local police, according to the the lawsuit.

"Many of the people targeted are religious leaders and community activists," Walid said.

"We hope this ruling helps curb the modern-day McCarthyism that the FBI has been improperly engaged in."

One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit is a 7-month-old baby from California, listed in the lawsuit as "Baby Doe."

"He was 7 months old when his boarding pass was first stamped with the 'SSSS' designation, indicating that he had been designated as a 'known or suspected terrorist,'" reads the lawsuit.

"While passing through airport security, he was subjected to extensive searches, pat-downs and chemical testing. ... Every item in his mother's baby bag was searched, including every one of his diapers."

There are other government databases that civil rights groups have been challenging through legal action.

The No Fly List is a separate, smaller list — a subset of the Terrorist Screening Database — that Muslim groups have contested in lawsuits.

In some cases, Muslims are being pressured by the FBI to become informants after they are questioned at the border or at airports.

CAIR said FBI agents are telling Muslim Americans they can get off the terrorism watch list if they agree to become informants and spy on their communities.
Several months after he was stopped in April 2015, Elhady said an FBI agent contacted him on Dec. 2 "and informed him that his phone was being tapped and that all his calls were being listened to by the FBI," reads the lawsuit.

Judge Trenga said in his decision that "Elhady has also had his phone confiscated multiple times at the U.S. border, been pressured to reveal its password to border agents, been questioned about its contents, and been told by an FBI agent that his cellphone conversations were being monitored."

"When Elhady attempted border-crossings, CBP officers told him 'Are you serious? Someone like you should have stopped crossing the border by now.'"

Masri said she hopes that Trenga's ruling last week can lead to real changes.

"There should be at the very least court oversight over any restrictions of the fundamental right of movement of citizens who have never been charged or convicted," Masri said.

"Innocent people are being caught up."

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