FPC, FPF Argue Secret Government Watchlist is Unconstitutional

Department Of Homeland Security
Department Of Homeland Security

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced their filing of an amicus brief in the important Fourth Circuit case of Elhady v. Kable, detailing the numerous rights violations inherent in the unconstitutional Terrorism Screening Database, also known as the ‘terrorist watchlist’, including how it threatens the right to keep and bear arms. The brief is available online at FPCLegal.org.

“These secret government watchlists pose a huge threat to the fundamental rights of Americans,” explained FPC Director of Legal Policy and brief co-author Matthew Larosiere. “The government is trying to claim that being placed on such a list doesn’t harm a protected liberty interest, we explain just how wrong that is. From being harassed when traveling internationally, to being subject to delays, or even outright denied the ability to purchase a firearm.”

“These are the types of consequences that generally come with a conviction for a serious crime, not a bureaucratic hand-wave. That these heavy consequences are imposed upon thousands of Americans, without any real Due Process protections, is an embarrassment. The Fourth Circuit should uphold the decision below, and the government should correct course.”

“We are proud to stand among such a diverse group of amici in support of the Constitution and liberty” said Larosiere. “Organizations across the spectrum of interests and viewpoints, from the ACLU, to the Cato Institute, to the Electronic Frontier Foundation all agree that the government’s use of top secret lists deny Americans their rights and is unconstitutional.”

Background

  • America’s “war on terror” has spanned roughly two decades, bringing with it warrantless surveillance of Americans, the creation of secret lists, and more.
  • The TSDB, or the “watchlist,” is the database from which other lists like the “no-fly” list are built.
  • The watchlist is inherently unreliable, with standards so lax it has come to cover around 1.2 Million people.
  • People are “nominated” to the watchlist as “known or suspected terrorists” even where there is no evidence the person engaged, or plans to engage, in any criminal activity.
  • Inclusion on the watchlist may subject an individual to a litany of civil rights deprivations, including long detentions when traveling, heightened hostility in routine interactions with law enforcement, and deprivations of the right to keep and bear arms.
  • Because of the massive restraints on their liberty, 23 Americans who suspected they may be on the watchlist (since, again, it is secret) sued in the Eastern District of Virginia.
  • The government contends, among other things, that inclusion on the watchlist does not deprive a protected liberty interest sufficiently.
  • The plaintiffs won in the Eastern District of Virginia, and the government is now appealing the decision to the Fourth Circuit.
  • FPC and FPF filed as amici curiae to shed light on the seriousness of these constitutional deprivations, especially with respect to the right to keep and bear arms.

About Firearms Policy CoalitionFirearms Policy Coalition

Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)(4) grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to advance individual liberty, restore freedom, and defend the People’s rights—especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

About Firearms Policy FoundationFirearms Policy Foundation logo

Firearms Policy Foundation (www.firearmsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)(3) grassroots nonprofit organization. FPF’s mission is to defend the Constitution of the United States and the People’s rights, privileges, and immunities deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, especially the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms, through research, education, legal action, and other charitable programs.

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Get Out
Get Out
28 days ago

Problem I see with secret government watchlists is who controls them?

Bill
Bill
1 month ago

There is certainly a burden on persons legally in the US. There should be noticed hearings with the right to review evidence and to present contrary evidence to an indeorndettrier of facts!

Vanns40
Vanns40
30 days ago
Reply to  Bill

I’m of a slightly stricter mindset which you may be but didn’t convey fully. There should be NO secret watch lists. Why? Because, simply put, our government has proven, time after time, it cannot be trusted to uphold our Constitution and the Freedoms the Founders enshrined in it.

GUNFUN
GUNFUN
1 month ago

Problem with this war on terror is that it gives more power to the Government. We trust that this power isn’t being used against us, but we have no way to tell. They need to be able to do all of these things for terrorists, but they shouldn’t be able to do it to regular citizens. We need elected officals in charge of these departments.

Random71
Random71
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNFUN

Why so the elected officials will bone us with more unconstitutional behavior on a rotation?

Perhaps if we werent wasting time and money mucking around in other countries then perhaps we might not have this MASSIVE terrorism issue. Most of which these days seems a bit more homegrown. Perfect justification to turn those “tools to combat foreign terrorism” against the citizenry.

What the hell ever happened to 4A and 5A.

jack mac
jack mac
30 days ago
Reply to  GUNFUN

GUNFUN, elected officials are responsible for all agencies. All enforcement agencies act as intended by elected officials.

USA
USA
1 month ago

TAPS too, while Republicans smile and tell you they are Christians sent from GOD to save you while pandering your vote make no bones about it they are ramming it in you deep and they are big fat liars who worship the exact same god (Satan) as the Demonrats.

USA
USA
1 month ago
Reply to  USA

If the Left don’t get ya the Right certainly will.

Being fooled by the good cop bad cop game is why your sheep.

https://www.thelibertybeacon.com/hr-838-taps-act-you-are-being-lied-to/

GUNFUN
GUNFUN
1 month ago
Reply to  USA

Your nonsense is worse than Biden’s some days.