BELLEVUE, WA – Legislation introduced today by veteran anti-gun New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg is designed to expand his gun prohibition agenda under the cloak of national security, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.

Sen. Lautenberg’s new “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009” would place unprecedented authority in the hands of the Attorney General to deny someone their Second Amendment rights without having been convicted, or even charged, with any crime. Instead, under this legislation, someone whose name is added – for whatever reason – to a terrorist watch list can suddenly find himself or herself prohibited from exercising their constitutionally-protected rights based on nothing more than suspicion.

“Frank Lautenberg has devoted his entire political career to stripping as many citizens as possible of their firearm civil rights,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “His motivation appears to be a Government Accountability Office report that asserts 963 cases of known or suspected terrorists trying to buy firearms over a five-year period from 2004 through February of this year. However, in 90 percent of those cases, the purchases were allowed after the buyer cleared an FBI instant background check.

“Lautenberg calls this the ‘terror loophole’,” he added, “yet neither he, nor anyone else, can adequately explain how someone gets their name on a so-called ‘terrorist watch list,’ and there appears to be no way to get one’s name off such a list once it is there.

“In Lautenberg’s world view,” Gottlieb observed, “any American citizen interested in owning a gun is a potential terrorist. Would he add all of our names to such a watch list, thus stripping us of our Second Amendment rights, without first being charged, prosecuted and convicted of some crime? Probably he would.

“In 2007,” Gottlieb recalled, “Lautenberg lamented that a similar bill went nowhere. He claimed it was blocked because too many of his colleagues ‘knuckled under to the gun lobby.’ Better that Congress protect gun owners’ civil rights than be browbeaten by a knucklehead.”