Assistant Homeland Security Secretary: ‘Apples and Oranges’ to Use No-Fly List for Gun Control


On December 17, Assistant Homeland Secretary Alan Bersin said he had not heard about the effort to use the no-fly list for gun control background checks and suggested any effort to do so would be “apples and oranges.”

Bersin said this while giving testimony before Congress, and his statement specifically came in response to a question from Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX-10), who said:

My concern with this is there has been a lot of talk recently about using these watch lists for purposes other than they were intended. For instance, in determining whether or not Americans are able to exercise their rights under the Second Amendment. Do you think it’s appropriate that these lists be used outside of what they were designed for?

Bersin responded, “I’ve not heard that, and I believe that it would be apples and oranges.” In other words, Bersin believes the list is not suited to gun control purposes.

It is interesting to note that the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and CNN also provided reasons against including the no-fly list in gun control legislation last week.

The WaPo described the no-fly list’s imprecision and said it’s “a terrible tool for gun control because it’s a terrible tool.”

The LA Times explained the no-fly list is a list of accused persons, not convicted persons, and in light of this, believes using the list to deny Second Amendment rights is an unconstitutional denial of due process.

The Globe asked why people who are on the list are left free to mingle in society to begin with? After all, if they are too dangerous to be on a plane and too dangerous to be trusted with a gun—according to Democrats—then why haven’t they been apprehended?

CNN seized on the same imprecision as WaPo, citing the accidental inclusion of entertainers, U.S. Representatives, U.S. Senators, and others to demonstrate that many innocents could lose their constitutional rights if the list were included in gun control.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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