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Senate ‘Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act of 2016’ Lacks Due Process, Targets Muslims

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/22/16) – The Council on American Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today issued a statement in opposition to the Senate’s “Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act of 2016.â€

The bill is expected to be unveiled sometime today by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Tim Kaine (D-VA).

SEE: Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act of 2016 http://tinyurl.com/jeetagt

CAIR’s Statement on the “Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act of 2016â€

“American citizens who are wrongly placed on the federal terrorist watch lists must be afforded the constitutional right to due process and the ability to effectively challenge inappropriate watch list designations.

“We oppose the Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act of 2016 because it appears to limit the ban on firearms purchases to American Muslims 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.

“It would seem the Senate is willing to only apply constitutional limitations on the American Muslim community, which is disproportionately impacted by federal watch lists.

“Nelson Mandela, then former South African president, Nobel Prize winner and anti-Apartheid leader was on a U.S. terrorism watch list until 2008. Mandela himself needed special State Department clearance to visit the United States in 2008. Such an absurdity highlights the political nature of watch lists and the lack of ability to challenge inappropriate designations once they are made.

“We remain committed to reasonable gun safety reforms that expand background checks to all gun sales – including private handgun sales, gun shows and online sales. We also believe that firearms and domestic violence or stalking are a lethal combination, and we therefore support legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of such abusers. Moreover, we support the push for federally-funding research into the causes and effects of gun violence in America.â€

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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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171, nnaeem@cair.com

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