White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that the Republicans are afraid of the National Rifle Association, which is why Congress has not passed a bill to ban on people who are on the terror watch list from buying a gun.
“As people are sitting around the Thanksgiving table talking about these issues — as they should and I’m sure they all will across the country — I hope that is a question that will be raised and asked by members around the table,” Earnest said Monday.
“If we are going to have a serious discussion in this country about national security, let’s talk about some things Congress can do, and one obvious thing Congress can do is pass a law that prevents someone who is one the terror watch list from being able to buy a weapon,” he continued. “I’m not sure why that’s controversial. I’m not sure why it hasn’t been done. I suspect it has a lot to do with the fear the Republicans have of the NRA.”
Earnest brought the issue up without being prompted while answering a separate question about the Syrian refugee controversy. On Sunday, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he supports banning the sale of a gun to anyone on the list, while Trumps closest competition, Ben Carson, said he has civil liberties concerns.
NRA Director of Public Affairs Jennifer Baker told TheBlaze that the organization does not want any potential terrorist getting a weapon.
“The NRA does not want terrorists or dangerous people to have firearms, any suggestion otherwise is offensive and wrong,” Baker said “Under the current system, law enforcement is notified every time a person on the list attempts to purchase a firearm. Law enforcement then makes a case-by-case decision on the appropriate follow-up for each circumstance.”
"The NRA’s only objective is to ensure that Americans who are wrongly on the list are afforded their constitutional right to due process,” Baker continued. “It is appalling that anti-gun politicians are exploiting the Paris terrorist attacks to push their gun-control agenda and distract from President Obama’s failed foreign policy.”
The terrorism watch list currently has more than 1 million people on it.