- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson asserted Wednesday that new gun control legislation is a national defense issue.

Mr. Johnson implied on “CBS This Morning” that ownership of semi-automatic rifles like the one used in Sunday’s terror attack in Orlando, Florida should be subject to future future gun laws.

“We have to face the fact that meaningful gun control has to be a part of homeland security,” Mr. Johnson said. “We need to do something to minimize the opportunity for terrorists to get a gun in this country.”

The secretary’s comments came just three days after 29-year-old security guard Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 53 others with a semi-automatic rifle inside a gay nightclub.

“I thought frankly after Sandy Hook where you have schoolchildren murdered in a classroom that maybe finally this will be the tipping point and we were not able to move the needle in Congress, unfortunately,” Mr. Johnson added.

Likely Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made similar arguments two days earlier while speaking to a crowd in Cleveland, Ohio.


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“Weapons of war have no place on our streets,” Mrs. Clinton said. “If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you shouldn’t be able to just go buy a gun with no questions asked. she said. And you shouldn’t be able to exploit loopholes and evade criminal background checks by buying online or at a gun show. And yes, if you’re too dangerous to get on a plane, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America.”

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action released a statement Wednesday in support of delaying gun purchases for suspected terrorists.

“Anyone on a terror watchlist who tries to buy a gun should be thoroughly investigated by the FBI and the sale delayed while the investigation is ongoing. If an investigation uncovers evidence of terrorist activity or involvement, the government should be allowed to immediately go to court, block the sale, and arrest the terrorist. At the same time, due process protections should be put in place that allow law-abiding Americans who are wrongly put on a watchlist to be removed,” NRA-ILA’s statement said.

Gun rights advocates say state and federal agencies want to use terrorist “no fly” lists to unilaterally strip U.S. citizens of constitutionally protected rights without due process.

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