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Gun Lobby Questions Accuracy of Terrorist Watch List

Here’s Chris Cox, top lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, explaining in a statement to The Washington Post that the group opposes efforts to prevent those on the FBI’s terrorist watch list from buying weapons, because some of those folks might be on the list erroneously.

The NRA cited a Justice Department inspector general’s report in March that found that about 24,000 of 400,000 people on the list — or about 6 percent — were named based on outdated or irrelevant information in FBI files, sometimes after their cases had been closed.

“Law-abiding Americans should not be treated like terrorists,” Cox said in a written statement. “To deny law-abiding people due process and their Second Amendment rights based on a secret list is not how we do things in America.”

The comments are reaction to yesterday’s report from the Government Accountability Office, which found that those on the terrorist watch list have been able to buy weapons about 90 percent of time they’ve tried over the past five years.

Of note, here’s GAO’s description of the government’s watch list:

The FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center maintains the U.S. government’s terrorist watch list, which contains information about individuals “known or appropriately suspected to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism.” Applicable records from the watch list are searched during NICS background checks.

Also of note, current law allows those on the list to by firearms.

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