Lawmaker wants to know how many Tennesseans on ‘no fly’ list - WSMV Channel 4

Lawmaker wants to know how many Tennesseans on ‘no fly’ list

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State Rep. Jason Powell, D-Nashville (WSMV) State Rep. Jason Powell, D-Nashville (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The “No fly, no buy” proposal has come up before after other mass shootings. And now, it's back in the spotlight.

The idea is to keep people who are on the “no fly” list from buying a gun.

While Republicans have been quick to criticize President Barack Obama on gun control issues in the past, he’s received little back lash on his call to make it harder for suspected terrorists to get guns.

Tennessee state Rep. Jason Powell, D-Nashville, said it seems like a no brainer.

“The bottom line is terrorists do not need to have guns,” said Powell.

Powell drafted a bill earlier this year that would require the state to release the number of Tennesseans on that list who have hand gun carry permits.

“My hope was to get a sound understanding of the number of people. I think having a number would let us know if this is a real problem,” said Powell.

The FBI holds that information and won't give it out.

“The Terrorist Screening Center does not publicly confirm nor deny whether any individual maybe included in the U.S. Government’s Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) or a subset list,” said Terrorist Screening Center spokesman Dave Joly. “Disclosure of an individual's inclusion or non-inclusion in the TSDB or on the No Fly List would significantly impair the government's ability to investigate and counteract terrorism, and protect transportation security."

Terrorism expert Dr. Susan Turner Haynes breaks it down.

“If you’re on that list and should be on that list as a known terrorist or suspected terrorist, then you have just tipped them off to the fact you know their identity and affiliation,” said Turner Haynes.

But Powell believes with work Congress can iron out those obstacles. If changes come at a federal level, things can start changing here in Tennessee.

“My concern is people who are dangerous,” said Powell. “They are terrorists, known terrorists and they have access to guns. That's a problem that effects all Tennesseans.”

Haynes said there are many ways you can end up on the terrorist watch list.

The most obvious reason is an act or terror or attempted act of terror like a foiled bomb plot.

But there are less obvious reasons like frequent travel to suspect countries.

Turner Haynes said while enacting a “no fly no buy” law may seem like an obvious move, it could create controversy.

"The debate enters into the fact that you're putting people on a list. They don't know that they are on the list. We don't know precisely why these individuals are placed on the list. We don't know when they are being put on the list and their rights are being revoked,” said Turner Haynes.

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