“It’s just ludicrous to think that the criminal element, somehow, will be legislated out of having weapons,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said Monday on The Laura Ingraham Show. Asked if he would support prohibiting terrorists from buying guns — currently, individuals on the terror watch list can buy guns even if they undergo a background check — Inhofe replied that the “criminal element or the terrorist element they will be able to get those”:
INGRAHAM: What do you say to Joe Scarborough, all these other people who say, under your theory Senator Inhofe, a terrorist — someone in the country who wants to be a terrorist — nothing is stopping him from going into a gun show and getting a gun from a none licensed dealer….
INHOFE: Well, the terrorist, they are a part of, not by definition part of a criminal, because they are terrorists, but I would say the same thing is true for terrorists that is for criminals. And that is, if someone in the United States of America or any other place too the criminal element or the terrorist element they will be able to get those. The problem I have is that any restrictions, such as the ones we voted against last week, would have the effect of reducing the number of firearms nationwide and would disproportionately reduce them for law abiding citizens, that’s what I would say to Joe Scarborough.
In 2011, video surfaced of American-born al-Qaeda spokesmen Adam Yahiye Gadahn urging the terrorist group’s followers to exploit this so-called “terror gap.“ “America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms,” he said. “You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”
In May of that year, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, encouraged by the NRA, voted down an amendment that would have prevented those on the federal terrorist watch list from buying guns, even though a Government Accountability Office had found that suspected terrorists bought firearms and explosives from licensed dealers 1,300 times since 2004.