(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/23/16) – The Council on American Islamic Relations, the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on American Muslims and all other people of conscience to contact their elected representatives in Congress and urge that they â€œOPPOSEâ€ legislation that would ban gun sales to people placed on error-prone federal watch lists that disproportionately target Muslims and offer little remedy to appeal incorrect designations.
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In the House, Democrats waged a 24 sit-in to force consideration of New York Rep. Peter Kingâ€™s â€œDenying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Actâ€ (H.R. 1076). Rep. King is best known for his 2011 series of Islamophobic hearings investigating the American Muslim community.
In the Senate, a bipartisan coalition yesterday introduced the â€œTerrorist Firearms Prevention Act of 2016,â€ which also relies on federal watch lists to ban on firearms purchases and seems to be more concerned about an appeals process to obtain a firearm, instead of creating a similar process for listed individuals to challenge watch list designations.
Despite what some claim in Congress, neither bill would have prevented the Orlando shooter from being able to purchase a firearm because he was not placed on the No Fly List and Selectee List. The Orlando shooter was also not on the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), the list of 800,000 â€œknown or suspected terrorists,â€ commonly referred to as the â€œterrorist watchlist.â€
Congress seems willing to apply these constitutional limitations only when they target the American Muslim community, which is disproportionately impacted by federal No Fly List and Selectee List.
CAIR is calling on Americans to join in supporting reasonable gun safety reforms that could have the potential to stop mass-shootings like the ones that took place in Florida, Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Charleston. Polices like expanding background checks to all gun sales â€“ including private handgun sales, gun shows and online sales; help keep guns out of the hands of individuals convicted of domestic violence or stalking. CAIR also calls for federally-funding research into the causes and effects of gun violence in America.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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