2020 Dems Endorse Violating Due Process for US Citizens With ‘No Fly, No Buy’ for Guns


In the aftermath of the terrible tragedy in New Zealand, the debate on gun control vs. gun rights has been renewed once again in the United States. Naturally, some of the 2020 presidential candidates have been asked about their stance on guns.

While some of their answers have been standard talking points, one particular proposal has been reoccurring: If you’re on the government’s no-fly list, then you can’t buy a gun.

“Unfortunately, because the gun manufacturers only care about gun sales, they oppose the common sense reforms that can save lives,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said yesterday. “They want to oppose universal background checks because they want to sell an assault rifle to a teenager in a Walmart. Or to someone on the terror watch list or to someone who’s gravely mentally ill with a violent background.”

During her town hall with CNN later on the same day, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) also endorsed the idea.

“Background checks. At the federal level. No fly, no buy. Like if you’re on the terrorist watchlist, maybe you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun,” she said to a round of applause.

While the idea of a “no fly, no buy” sounds good, in practice, as is with a lot of government-run programs, the no-fly list has been plagued with innocent people being wrongly put on it. The list is also a blatant violation of a U.S. citizen’s right to due process.

But don’t just take it from me. Here’s why even the American Civil Liberties Union is against the list:

The government has now committed to telling U.S. citizens and permanent residents whether they are on the No Fly List, and it established a revised redress system. Those reforms, however, are not enough. The government still refuses to provide meaningful notice of the reasons our clients are blacklisted, the basis for those reasons, and a hearing before a neutral decision-maker. We’re still fighting for our clients’ due process rights.

Even people who managed to get in front of a court to get themselves removed from the list can be put through a very lengthy proceeding, as Politico reported on one case earlier this year:

Malaysian citizen Rahinah Ibrahim won her lawsuit nearly five years ago when U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ruled, following a trial, that her due process rights were violated by her placement on the list. An FBI agent testified at the trial that he misunderstood a form he filled out back in 2004, marking the wrong boxes and leading to the scholar being placed on the no-fly list.


Eight of the 11 9th Circuit judges on the case said there was strong evidence that Justice Department attorneys acted in “bad faith” by prolonging the litigation even after they knew that Ibrahim’s placement on the list was erroneous.

The no-fly list — and its Democrat-backed consequences — could also end up disproportionally hurting a certain group, as explained by Washington Examiner commentary video editor and writer Siraj Hashmi:

The list on its own is dangerous and needs major fixing, but what some of the presidential hopefuls are proposing only adds more fuel to the horrible idea fire.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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Julio has previously written for Independent Journal Review. He is currently a Military/Veterans Contributor for Townhall.com and serving in the Marine Corps Reserves.