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Friday, June 10, 2011

NRA Hush On Al Qaeda Weak Link

NRA Refuses To Comment On Al Qaeda Video Urging Supporters To Exploit Lax U.S. Gun Laws

In a long meandering YouTube video released last week, American-born al Qaeda spokesman Adam Yahiye Gadahn urged the terrorist group’s followers to exploit lax gun laws in the United States — particularly the private sale gun show loophole — to obtain weapons to murder Americans. But as Rachel Maddow noted this week, there’s a bit more to the story:

MADDOW: Even harder to believe than that, I submit is the fact that if you have been put on the terrorist watch list by the United States of America, you may not be able to board a commercial flight in this country — after all, you’re on the terrorist watch list. But you can legally still buy guns.
It’s also important to point out, as Media Matters’ Chris Brown noted, that because of this private sale loophole, “terrorists that are currently prohibited from purchasing guns can buy guns at gun shows from private sellers because the sellers don’t have to run background checks.”

The National Rifle Association opposes closing this so-called “terror gap,” and it also opposes eliminating the private sale gun show loophole. In fact, one day before al Qaeda released the Gadahn video, the NRA urged its supporters to contact state lawmakers in Delaware to defeat state legislation that would ban private sales at gun shows in Delaware. The NRA claimed that “the true intent of this legislation is to move towards an ultimate ban on all private sales — even those between family and friends – regardless of where they occur.”

So given that the NRA came out forcefully against this bill in Delaware, ThinkProgress contacted the powerful gun lobby to comment on Gadahn’s video. Yet the NRA appears reluctant to say anything.
Footnote: On Tuesday, ThinkProgress contacted the NRA’s press office to get a statement and an NRA official said someone there would respond. After receiving no response, they called the same office again on Wednesday and received the same reply.

ThinkProgress then emailed NRA spokesperson Rachel Parsons. Parsons said she was in a meeting and would respond later. Five hours later, we emailed Parsons again to see if she would comment on the Gadahn video. We are still waiting for a response.
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