- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala D. Harris on Wednesday proposed expanding background checks to internet guns sales as part of a plan to crack down on white supremacists and other domestic terrorists.

She promised if elected president to take executive action to require background checks for sales through major online marketplaces such as ArmsList.com, which offers classified-style advertising for private gun sales.

“In America, loaded guns should not be a few clicks away for any domestic terrorist with a laptop or smartphone,” Ms. Harris said. “We need to take action to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and stop violent, hate-fueled attacks before they happen. By focusing on confronting these domestic terror threats, we can save lives.”

Private gun sales and transactions on websites such as ArmsList.com are often not required to conduct background checks under federal law.

Jonathan Gibbon, the owner of ArmsList.com, said he was not surprised that Ms. Harris singled them out. He also said he doubted she knew anything about his business.

“We are a favorite boogeyman for people who don’t understand or respect the Second Amendment,” he said.

ArmsList does not sell firearms but provides a platform that connects private sellers and buyers, making it a “physical impossibility” for the company to perform a background check, said Mr. Gibbon.

ArmsList’s clients include more than 1,000 federal firearms license (FFL) holders who routinely conduct background checks. Further expanding background checks to marketplace websites, he argued, would require expanding the background check requirement to individual sellers who are not gun dealers.

Kamala has made it clear that she is an enemy of civil rights. Those who try to pick and choose certain civil rights over others have no respect for any of them,” he said. “All restrictions on civil rights have a disparate impact on the poor and minorities.”

The Harris campaign said she was using her experience as California attorney general to craft policy to “combat and disarm domestic terrorists.”

The plan also called for federal law enforcement efforts to prevent domestic terrorism.

She vowed to issue a Domestic Terrorism Prevention Order that would authorize law enforcement to petition a federal court to temporarily seize the gun of a domestic terrorist or individual who may imminently perpetrate a hate crime.

She would take steps to ensure domestic terrorism is included in the mission of the National Counterterrorism Center.

Furthermore, she promised to reverse what she called President Trump’s “dangerous efforts to de-prioritize countering white supremacy.” The move would include $2 billion to investigate, disrupt and prosecute domestic terrorists, according to the plan.

The proposal came amid a flurry of gun control and hate crime proposals from the 2020 Democratic hopefuls in the wake of this month’s mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

The campaign noted that this week also marks the two-year anniversary of violent clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in the death of one counterprotester.

Although he opposed Ms. Harris‘ proposal to expand background checks, Mr. Gibbon said the current background check system could be improved.

“The current background check system is flawed, and can only be accessed by citizens by going to a privately owned FFL, during business hours, and paying a fee,” he said. “It is 2019, this data should be freely available to anyone with an internet connection. Whether it’s a blind date, someone who wants to rent property, or someone looking to purchase a firearm, Americans should be able to determine if that person is a convicted felon almost immediately.”

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