Monday at the White House press briefing, while pushing the administration’s support for banning anyone on the terror watch list from purchasing a firearm, press secretary Josh Earnest accused Republucans of being “more scared of the NRA” than national security.
Earnest said, “We noted that voting to further encumber and bog down the refugee process is not likely to do much to improve the national security of the United States. There probably are reforms to the visa waiver program that we are currently discussing with members of the United States Senate that actually could further enhance our national security. There are a number of steps that our permanent Homeland Security has already taken over the last year to strengthen that program, there may be additional steps we can work with Congress to implement. There’s one other thing that Congress could do that would actually enhance our national security. And right now, that relates to the purchase of firearms. Right now, there’s not a law on the books that prevents an individual who is already in the United States, and that we already know is suspected of having links to terrorism, that allows them to go and purchase a weapon. This is particularly ironic because the concerns that were expressed by members of Congress, some members of Congress, were about individuals who are not in the United States being subjected to a process spending two years convincing national security officials that they don’t want to commit terrorism.”
“They will only enter the United States once they have persuaded the national security professionals sufficiently that they don’t have links to terrorism, he continued. “Instead, members of Congress are prepared to allow those individuals who are already in the United States, and are suspected of having links to terrorism, from going and purchasing a firearm. I think that’s a pretty clear indication that Republicans in Congress are more interested in playing politics, and more scared of the NRA than they are concerned about doing the right thing for our national security.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN