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More than 800 Firearm Buyers on Terrorist Watch List Approved to Buy Guns

WASHINGTON – The FBI Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) uses a terrorist watch list along with its other factors for screening potential firearm buyers. An updated report shows that the terrorist watch list contains 400,000 people according to the FBI, but they do not out right deny any application just because a purchasers name is on the list.

In the last five years more that 800 firearm purchasers were approved to buy guns even though their names appear on the terrorist watch list. A report from the associated press mentioned that simply being on the watch list does not automatically disqualify a person from purchasing firearms. Under the Brady Gun Background Check Law, being on the watch list is not part of the nine factors for disqualification, like felony convictions and mental disabilities.

Between February 2004 and February 2009 more than 900 gun background checks with names showing up on the watch list were conducted, and out of the 900 only 98 applications were denied and the rest approved. The List is maintained by the FBI and used by local, state, and federal agencies, it is used as a reference to identify suspected terrorist within the population. This number of approved purchases has raised concerns from gun safety and second amendment advocates, stating the use and significance of having such a list and not properly using it.

Another issue that is met with much debate is the number of names the list contains. Over the past two years, there had been applications filed by at least 830 people who believe they have been listed by mistake. Worse of all, you cannot confirm if you are on the watch list unless you purchase a firearm yourself and go through standard background checks to find out. They also do not disclose how a person's name ends up on the watch list. Been to any rallies lately? It just might get you on the list!

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