DHS Secretary: ‘Sensible Gun Control…Is a Matter of Homeland Security’

By Melanie Arter | June 30, 2016 | 12:01 PM EDT

Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Thursday that a gun is “an instrument of terrorism” and that “sensible gun control consistent with the 2nd Amendment” is “a matter of homeland security.”

“I believe that sensible gun control consistent with the 2nd Amendment and consistent with a responsible gun owner’s right to own a gun is a matter of homeland security,” Johnson told the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to a question from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on whether it was “a significant security vulnerability” that terrorists can get “powerful firearms” and whether this is being exploited by those who would harm us.

 



“When you look at what happened in Orlando and you look at what happened in San Bernardino and the weapons used there by what appeared to have been ISIL-inspired terrorists, I believe that we should face the fact that we need to make it harder for terrorists to get a gun in this country,” Johnson said, adding, “I know that there is legislation and legislative ideas pending in this Congress to do exactly that.”

“I hope we can find a way consistent with the 2nd Amendment to make it harder for a terrorist to buy a gun in this country. It is a weapon of—an instrument of terrorism, and those determined to commit terrorist acts on our homeland are taking advantage of that, and so I believe it’s a matter of homeland security that we address this,” Johnson added.

“In fact, I’m told that at least one al Qaeda member has pointed to the U.S. gun show loophole to encourage their sympathizers to acquire used firearms. From your experience, is it pretty clear that terrorists in other parts of the world are aware of our weak gun laws?” Leahy asked.

“I believe they are, and I read such literature that you referred to as recently as this week, and we know from past practice that the literature put out by al Qaeda and ISIL that is disseminated in this country is acted upon and followed. There are sad examples of that,” Johnson replied.


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