Proposal: Ban Pa. Gun Sales to Terror Suspects

Legislation promised in both Senate and House.

Pennsylvania would halt gun sales to people on federal “terror watch” lists, under legislation proposed this week by a Philadelphia Democrat.

Sen. John Sabatina Jr. sent colleagues a memo on Monday saying he would sponsor such legislation in the near future. “This is a common-sense bill with bipartisan support nationally,” he wrote.

Actually, similar proposals at the federal level seem destined to stall, in part over concerns that watch lists like the federal “no fly ” list are too opaque — few people outside government know how or why people are listed or unlisted, and there is no known appeals process for those who find themselves listed.

“I think those are valid concerns, and they need to be worked out,” Shira Goodman, executive director of CeaseFirePA said today. “But if there is a terrorist watch list, people on it shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns, and if the feds aren’t going to do it, the states should.”

Rep. Steven J. Santarsiero, a Bucks County Democrat, says he will also propose similar legislation in the Pennsylvania House. “We can no longer afford to put our citizens in danger by allowing guns to be sold to those on terrorism watch list,” he wrote in a Dec. 11 memo to colleagues.

No word on when the legislation will be introduced.