People placed on Washington's terrorist watch list can be prevented from boarding an airplane or getting a visa, but they can still buy a gun, the New York Times reports. In the last 5 years, people on the list tried to buy guns nearly 1,000 times, and current laws forced federal authorities to approve requests 90% of the time. One buyer even picked up 50 pounds of explosives.
Officials must clear gun purchases, the Times notes, unless potential buyers can be disqualified for being a felon, illegal immigrant, or drug addict. “This is a glaring omission, and it’s a security issue,” said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who proposes granting the attorney general authority to block such sales. But the NRA says Lautenberg’s approach opposes “the interests of public safety.”