According to CNN, House Democrats are planning to oppose the “No Fly, No Buy” legislation now being proposed by Republicans and projected for a vote following the Independence Day recess.
Following the shooting in Orlando there has been a flurry of Congressional activity to try and enact a proposal entitled “No Fly, No Buy” which would prohibit citizens on a “terrorist watch list” from purchasing firearms.
The idea gained traction because the perpetrator of the shooting in Orlando had previously been on the watch list, investigated by the FBI, cleared, and removed from the list five years prior to the purchase of the firearms he used in the terror attack.
Democrats in the House and Senate have put forth multiple proposals which would formalize the process already in place in which the FBI is alerted when someone on the watch list attempts to purchase a firearm. They then have the ability to interdict and stop that sale.
The proposal by Democrats they would have all such sales stopped by default, requiring the citizen to appeal that decision through the court system.
Many Republicans have pointed out that this places an enormous financial burden on the individual (who would have to finance their own legal challenge with no guarantee that it would be reimbursed), and is the exact opposite of the way the legal system is supposed to work — namely the concept of “innocent until proven guilty.”
The burden of proof would be on the individual to prove that they aren’t a terrorist instead of on the state to prove that the individual is an actual danger to society.
Republicans have produced their own version of the legislation which places the burden of proof on the government. According to their legislation the Attorney General would have three days following the interdicted firearms transaction to file an action with the court to make that purchase denial permanent.
Democrats have voiced their opposition to this proposal because they claim it will make the process too difficult. cnn.com:
House Democrats said Friday they will oppose a Republican bill aimed at preventing people suspected of being terrorists from buying guns because they don’t believe the proposal will be effective in stopping the purchases.
The legislation, which will be voted on next week, is similar to a bill authored by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas that Senate Democrats rejected a week ago. It would give the Justice Department three days after a suspected terrorist tries to buy a gun to show that the person should not be allowed to have it. Democrats complain it is onerous and unworkable.
The Democrats went on to complain that they also don’t want to vote on the Republicans’ proposal because it has the backing of the NRA. It’s worth noting that the NRA did indeed endorse this same proposal in the Senate, advocating for new gun laws and tighter restrictions contrary to the narrative that Democrats use against the organization.