Remember all the calls by Democrats to ban people on the FBI’s terror watch list from buying guns? Well, it turns out that those proposals would have affected nearly 2 million people. Since the Transportation Security Administration announced in January that it was considering adding Jan. 6th Capitol protesters to the U.S. No Fly List, it is little wonder that the list has grown so long.
When the list first started being compiled in 2003, no one would have dreamed that so many names would end up on it. Even as late as 2009, there were 400,000 names — little more than a fifth of today’s number. The fact that almost 2 million people are on the terror watch list is a sad testament to the power that we give unnamed and unaccountable bureaucrats and should caution those who wish to use the list as a basis for far-reaching policies.
Being on the watch list doesn’t mean that you are guilty of anything. You can be on the list simply because the FBI wants to interview you about someone you might know. As of 2014, about 40 percent of people on the watch list were under “reasonable suspicion” despite having “no affiliation with known terrorist groups.” People can get nominated for the list by various government agencies, and no oversight agency exists to ensure that these additions are justified.
The Democrats want to strip all 2 million of these people of their Second Amendment rights. When he was president, Barack Obama called for a ban on gun sales to people on the watch list. Sen. Dianne Feinstein tried to add a ban as a budget amendment in 2016, but Republicans blocked it. Republicans had their version of the ban, but they at least required a court hearing before people were listed, which was unacceptable to Democrats.