A Growing Threat: Closing the Terror Gap
On December 2, two terrorists killed 14 people and injured 22 more in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA. Despite connections with organized terror groups, the shooters had passed background checks and legally purchased the firearms used in the killings. This isn’t the only the case of known or suspected terrorists legally purchasing guns to carry out attacks on American soil. Every deadly terror attack in America since 2001 has involved firearms.
This growing threat exists because of a loophole in our laws that lets suspected terrorists and others on the federal government’s no-fly list pass background checks and purchase firearms. And the problem is only getting worse as government and law enforcement warn about the risks of lone-wolf extremists committing acts of active shooter terrorism.
In 2011, an American-born al-Qaeda spokesman named Adam Gadahn released a message calling on violent extremists to take advantage of our weak gun laws:
“America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”
There’s a commonsense solution to keeping guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists: Close the terror gap. But because of pressure from the gun lobby, Congress has failed to act, leaving Americans vulnerable to the growing threat of active shooter terrorism.
Many Americans are not aware that the terror gap exists. But after learning about this dangerous loophole in our laws, the vast majority want to close it.
“The very same politicians who beat their chests about how tough they are on terrorism won’t pass laws to prevent terrorists from getting weapons.” – Boston Globe Editorial Board
Congress also needs to act to implement a more comprehensive and reliable background check system to ensure information on suspected terrorists is shared with authorities, and Congress should codify the Obama Administration’s efforts to close the gun-show loophole as well.
• 82% of Americans and 74% of gun-owners
• The Obama Administration
• Former members of the George W. Bush Administration (including President George W. Bush and former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales)
• 2016 presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, John Kasich, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump
• Former FBI Director Robert Mueller
• Former NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly
• 9/11 Commission Chair Thomas Kean
• The Editorial Boards of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the New Haven Register, the Hartford Courant, and many others
How You Can Help
* Tell Congress it’s time to make commonsense changes and close the loophole that allows known and suspected terrorist to buy guns.
* Share on social media