@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Cooper joins call to keep firearms from terror suspects

Posted December 7, 2015

Handgun, firearm

— Attorney General Roy Cooper on Monday called on state lawmakers to approve legislation that would prevent anyone being monitored by the FBI as a terror suspect from purchasing firearms in North Carolina.

"Stopping terror suspects from getting weapons that could harm our state and its people makes common sense," Cooper said in a statement. "Even if Washington won't act, we can."

In the wake of last week's mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., the U.S. Senate voted down a measure that would have curtailed the gun rights of people on the government's no-fly list and other FBI databases of terror suspects.

Cooper, a Democrat hoping to unseat Republican Gov. Pat McCrory next fall, quoted a statistic from the U.S. Government Accountability Office that more than 2,000 terror suspects legally purchased guns in the United States from 2004 to 2014.

The General Assembly has been loosening gun restrictions in recent years. This summer, for example, lawmakers passed legislation expanding where people with concealed carry permits can take their weapons and limiting the ability of county sheriffs to delve into the background of someone applying for a pistol purchase permit.

Rep. Leo Daughtry, chairman of the House Judiciary I Committee, said he doubts lawmakers will take up Cooper's proposal in the legislative session that begins in April.

"You have a constitutional problem with saying some people can buy a gun and others can't," said Daughtry, R-Johnston. "You'd open up a whole can of worms."

Although state law already prohibits some people from buying firearms, he noted that they usually have been convicted of a crime already and aren't merely suspected of possibly posing a threat.

New Jersey passed legislation two years ago prohibiting firearms sales to people on terror watch lists, Cooper said.

In addition to legal concerns, Daughtry said that legislative rules could preclude consideration of a firearms bill during the short session as it wasn't considered in the 2015 long session.

The North Carolina Republican Party called Cooper's statement "a bait-and-switch to push for more gun control."

"Considering anyone can be placed on the terror watch list for any number of reasons arbitrarily, it is equally as scary that our state's elected attorney general and top law enforcement officer is for stripping our citizens of their constitutional rights and denying them due process in order to score points with the far-left elements of his party," GOP chairman Hasan Harnett said in a statement.

53 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Gehrig Austin Dec 8, 2015
    user avatar

    This guy should be fired and charged with treason

  • Jim Smith Dec 8, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    A 4 y.o. shouldn't be on the no fly list!

  • Hamilton Bean Dec 8, 2015
    user avatar

    Preventing terror suspects from obtaining a firearm??? Is that anything like preventing a criminal from obtaining a firearm???? Good luck with that...

  • Dean Logan Dec 8, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    The biometric check, nfc or rfid is only the first step. You also need to lock the firing mechanism. So, it doesn't matter which check they do, if the firing mechanism doesn't lock or prevents the bullet from being fired. If you read the article I linked, you would have seen that their test only allowed for 3 or 4 shots before failure. It is a small caliber gun, due to the electronics needed to lock the mechanism.

  • Rosco Coltrane Dec 8, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Are you worried about your name showing up on it? I know that am not worried. For starters, I don't fly. Further, I have my CCP.

  • LetsBeFair Dec 8, 2015

    listen people, fellow Americans, think for yourselves and your families. A government is to provide service ... not to dictate your rights, that is already in place. One you give them the power to dictate your rights, your lose your power to them. Are you a beaten wife? NO!... so stand up and let the constitution do its job. Be Americans!!!!

  • LetsBeFair Dec 8, 2015

    Amy, do you think you're putting the cart ahead of the horse?
    That is a lot of conjecture to upend a lot of wise men with the forethought of allowing those able to protect themselves from a government gone arr aye.

  • Bryan Ayers Dec 7, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Some will happily hand away their rights in exchange for a false sense of security...

  • Bryan Ayers Dec 7, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Alan: will you be happy when all of your rights are taken away? Why stop at the Second? Why should people lose their rights in order to make you happy? Other countries with no citizen's rights are happy to have you in their country, Sir...

  • Bryan Ayers Dec 7, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    ...unless someone adds your name to a watch list.

More...