Prosecutors Against Gun Violence Supports Legislation to Prohibit Terrorists From Owning or Purchasing Firearms

June 16, 2016

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.. and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, on behalf of the majority of members of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence (PAGV), today announced their strong support for legislation that would give the U.S. Attorney General authority to prohibit known or suspected terrorists from buying or possessing firearms.

“With the devastation in Orlando fresh in our minds, it is important to note that if the shooter had been categorized as a known terrorist by the FBI, under existing law he still would have been able to purchase his weapons and carry out the largest mass shooting in our nation’s history,” wrote Feuer and Vance in a letter to the authors of the legislation.  “That is totally unacceptable. This legislation would close that loophole.”

The Denying Firearms to Dangerous Terrorists Act, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY), would give the U.S. Attorney General authority to deny the transfer of a firearm or explosive to a person who is a known or suspected terrorist and may use the weapon in connection with terrorism. Under current law, a transfer can be denied only of the recipient is statutorily prohibited from possessing a firearm, which includes users of illegal drugs, domestic abusers and fugitives from justice.

Founded by District Attorney Vance and City Attorney Feuer in September 2014, PAGV is a nonpartisan coalition of leading prosecutors, from every region of the United States, committed to advancing prosecutorial and policy solutions to the national public health and safety crisis of gun violence.

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