2015 | Politics

Rep. Van Hollen Calls on Gov. Hogan to Ban Guns for People on Terrorist Watch List

Congressman says he made request after move failed to gain traction in Congress

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Rep. Chris Van Hollen (file photo)

Aaron Kraut

Rep. Chris Van Hollen on Thursday called on Gov. Larry Hogan to ban gun sales in Maryland to individuals who are on the FBI’s terrorist watch list.

Van Hollen, a Democrat from the Montgomery County-based 8th Congressional District, told Hogan, a Republican, in a letter that he should follow the lead of Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, the Democrat who on Thursday signed an executive order to ban the sale of guns to individuals on government watch lists.

In the letter sent to Hogan, Van Hollen also cited New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican and close ally of Hogan who signed a state law to prohibit individuals on the terrorist watch list from getting a gun permit.

“Despite repeated efforts in Congress to prevent people on the FBI Terrorist Watchlist from buying guns, Republican leaders prevented us from even having a vote,” Van Hollen wrote in the letter. “While Tea Party obstructionism and the NRA keep Congress from moving forward to protect Americans from gun violence and terrorism, I call on you to explore every possible State action to prevent dangerous individuals from purchasing guns in Maryland.”

A report by the Government Accountability Office said that since 2004, more than 2,000 people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list have bought weapons in the U.S.

Last week, Republicans in the Senate killed an amendment that would’ve instituted the terrorist watch list ban amid concerns that the move would encroach on the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Van Hollen, who’s running for the state’s Democratic Senate nomination against Rep. Donna Edwards, earlier this year introduced legislation that would create a federal grant program to help states create permit-to-purchase requirements for all handguns.