ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A proposal to ban anyone on the government no-fly list from legally obtaining firearms is high on the list of security measures President Obama is urging Congress to enact. Maryland lawmakers considered taking that same action this year.
Political reporter Pat Warren explains why it failed.READ MORE: Maryland Department Of Health's Website Compromised After Cyberattack; COVID Metrics Not Updated Due To 'Server Outage'
Maryland has passed some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but in this case, the problem was with the list itself.
The Orlando massacre has reignited efforts to keep assault weapons out of the hands of terrorists.
“Unfortunately, our politics have conspired to make it as easy as possible for a terrorist to buy extraordinarily powerful weapons, and they can do so legally,” President Obama said.
Senate Democrats are backing an amendment to the pending spending bill that prevents people on the no-fly list and terrorist watch list from buying guns. Maryland lawmakers considered doing that this year.
“Well, we were not able to pass the bill. It was my bill. The idea was simply to say that if you’re on the terrorist watch list, you shouldn’t be able to buy a firearm in the state. So it’s the most intuitive, logical conclusion. I think everybody comes to it,” said Sen. Jamie Raskin, (D) Montgomery County.
But because the federal government doesn’t release the list, the state has no way of knowing who is on it, which means there’s no way to check. Beyond that, opponents told WJZ there are issues with the list itself.READ MORE: Maryland Could Start Seeing Snow As Early As Tuesday
“I don’t want them to have guns. It’s the people who get caught up in the system accidentally,” said Douglas Jones, who opposed the bill.
“We don’t know how you get your name on the list, we don’t know how you get your name off the list,” said Shannon Alford, NRA Maryland.
That’s an issue for the federal government to resolve.
“If we’re going to have a terror watch list, it doesn’t make sense to allow people on it to get firearms,” said Sen. Raskin.
A vote on the amendment is expected next week.
While Congress deals with it this summer, coming up next year, House Speaker Michael Busch says it will be a top priority.MORE NEWS: 'Serious' Crash Slows Traffic On I-97 In Anne Arundel County
The U.S. Senate has scheduled votes Monday on four gun control proposals.