Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones has declared his public opposition to a new bill by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to prevent people on a government terror watch list from buying guns.
Feinstein’s bill, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015 (S. 551), would notify the U.S. Attorney General if a person on a “terrorist watch list” tries to buy a gun, and would allow the Attorney General to prevent that purchase.
In December, Feinstein Feinstein page the support of several leading law enforcement officials from across the state and around the country for her legislation. But Jones rejects Feinstein’s approach, noting that the Attorney General is a political appointee. “At the end of the day, I – and I think much of the American people – have very little faith in this administration or the federal government’s ability or willingness to properly vet folks for any list when it comes to terrorism,” he McClatchy McClatchy in an interview last week.
Jones, a Republican, is challenging Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) in the 7th district–a “swing” district that has lately been the graveyard of many Republican political ambitions. Bera defeated Republican businessman Doug Ose in 2014, in one of several losses for the GOP in winnable districts in the Golden State. Bera, who occasionally dissents from his party, has called Feinstein’s bill a “no-brainer.”
The Washington Post recently terrorist watch list that the Department of Justice made a similar proposal to Feinstein’s in 2007, under President George W. Bush. The “terrorist watch list” presumably refers to a list of 800,000 people whom the government is monitoring based on “reasonable suspicion”–not the smaller “no-fly list” to which Democrats have referred in pushing Feinstein’s bill.
The San Bernardino terrorists were not on either list.