Buckeye Firearms Assoc. president: Trump and Kasich are WRONG on no-fly list gun sales

Last weekend, Ohio Governor John Kasich and businessman Donald Trump, both Republican presidential candidates, joined President Obama in calling for persons who find themselves on the government's "no-fly" list to be prohibited from purchasing firearms.

Kasich first expressed the opinion at a Saturday, Dec. 5 town-hall meeting in New London, N.H., and doubled-down on the position on CNN's "State of the Union" the following day, stating that "on the no-fly list, we probably could keep them from getting guns and ought to ban them."

When asked what he thought about the idea on Dec. 6, Trump told CBS' "Face the Nation," "Well, I'd certainly take a look at it. I would. I'm very strong into the whole thing with Second Amendment -- but if you can't fly, and if you've got some really bad -- I would certainly look at that very hard." Trump also said he believes the act of purchasing multiple firearms or a "great" amount of ammunition should also bring people under suspicion.

Buckeye Firearms Association president Jim Irvine, a commercial airlines pilot by trade, is also "very strong into the whole thing with Second Amendment," and he has a very personal reason to disagree with Kasich and Trump when it comes to the no-fly list: he spent more than three years on it.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Sen. Ted Kennedy complained in 2004 that he was put on a no-fly list; in fact, according to the TSA, he was misidentified as an individual on a separate list for additional screening but was not on the actual no-fly list. The TSA Secure Flight initiative — aimed at more-efficiently matching passengers and watch lists — was seen as a way to help address many of the problems posed by the watch list. Yusuf Islam — the 1960s folk singer known as Cat Stevens who urged listeners to “ride on the peace train” — was put on the list.

So was Jim Irvine. He’s the president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, the leading gun-rights group in Ohio who is also a commercial airline pilot.

Irvine went on to explain to the Dispatch that for three years he was mistaken for another Jim Irvine — one who was born the same month as he - and that it made his job extremely difficult.

Oddly, he was permitted to fly a plane — they involve different lists. But when he wanted to ride on a plane as a passenger — as pilots often do — he ran into all sorts of trouble.

“My life sucked for three years going to work,” he said. “I was OK to sit in the cockpit but not to sit in the cabin.”

Ohio Congressmen Jim Jordan and Pat Tiberi observe that Irvine isn't alone in having been targeted unfairly:

“There have been all kinds of people put on that list who weren’t a threat,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, who argues that the government is too reliably ineffective to be able to handle such a list capably. “There are all kinds of mistakes that have been made.”


“We’ve had lot of constituents over the last several years call and complain about being on the (no-fly) list, how difficult it is to get off it and not knowing how they even got on it,” said Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township. “The fact is that the list has huge problems. It has huge holes in it.”

As NSSF's Larry Kean wrote recently, "It is, quite simply, unacceptable to deny Americans their Second Amendment rights without due process because their name was placed on an error-prone secret government list for which there is no underlying statutory authority."

Persons interested in learning more about how the Obama administration's watchlist system authorizes a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence”, I recommend an article pubished last year by Intercept.com, entitled "THE SECRET GOVERNMENT RULEBOOK FOR LABELING YOU A TERRORIST."

From the article:

The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place entire “categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.

It should be of deep concern to all Americans that Kasich and Trump (and Obama) believe that a government bureaucrat should have the ability to arbitrarily restrict this particular Constitutional right, and not even tell the victim of such over-reach, when or why it happened, or provide them any recourse. Are they equally willing to strip these people of their First Amendment rights, because through their words others are radicalized, or to take away their religious rights, because they are using religion as a terror tool?

Or is it just Second Amendment rights Kasich and Trump are willing to compromise on? After all, both Kasich and Trump have given pro-gun rights voters reason for concern in the past.

In 1994, Kasich took the lead in drumming up just enough Republican votes (the bill passed 216-214) to ban certain modern sporting rifles through legislation known as the Clinton Gun Ban - a failed law that was allowed to sunset in 2004. In 1999, Kasich voted twice to ban private transfers of firearms at gun shows - legislation that industry experts say would effectively end the shows altogether - and also voted against a bill that would have restored the Second Amendment rights of residents in the District of Columbia. His overall gun rights voting record as a congressman was, at best, 50/50.

In 2000, Trump wrote in his book "The America We Deserve," that "I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun." He also criticized those who "walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions." Beyond that, and keeping in mind his well-known support for the Clintons, my friend Jeff Knox observes that "we have no record on which to judge Mr. Trump. He has never held political office, has never been a major contributor to pro-rights efforts, and has never used his power and influence to advance the debate on rights issues." What we DO now have is Trump once again taking a position that flies in the face of the U.S. Constitution, just as he did recently when he suggested that certain religious institutions should be forceably closed.

John Kasich and Donald Trump need to do their homework. Given their current stated support for the Second Amendment, expressed repeatedly throughout their campaigns, it's hard to imagine either of the two candidates continuing to hold this position with Obama if they understood how arbitrary the process is for being added to these lists, and if they knew how difficult it is to get off.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

Additional Information:

Marco Rubio explains why he voted against prohibiting persons on the no-fly list from purchasing firearms:

Congressman Trey Gowdy questions Dept. of Homeland Security's Kelli Ann Burriesci regarding due process in House Oversight Committee:

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