Tony Dale, a Republican State Representative to the Texas legislature, wants to ban Syrian refugees from his state because it’s too easy for them to buy guns in Texas. According to Salon, in a letter he sent to other Texas lawmakers, Dale said that…
…the state should not accept any Syrian refugees because its lax gun-purchasing regulations would make it easy for any terrorists hiding among them to acquire a weapon and carry out an attack.
To be more specific, Think Progress notes that,
in a letter to Senator Jon Cornyn, [Dale] characterized as an insufficiently “robust” screening process and it’s not difficult to “imagine a scenario were [sic] a refugees [sic] is admitted to the United States, is provided with federal cash payments and other assistance, obtains a drivers license and purchases a weapon and executes an attack.”
But, of course, gun-purchasing laws in Texas are so lax that purported refugee/terrorists can them so easily precisely because legislators like Dale—who have “A” ratings from the NRA–have staunchly opposed gun-control legislation and have opposed background checks of any kind for decades.
Which brings us to another Republican meme: “We can’t let refugees in because we can’t do background checks on them.” [See: Marco Rubio]
So, let me get this straight: We should be doing deep background checks on Syrian refugees, because they might get guns, but we must not ever, ever, ever require background checks for American citizens–or anyone else–who want to buy guns at gun shows or from private individuals.
Interestingly, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 23 states whose governors are opposing the resettlement of Syrian refugees do not require background checks for firearms purchased at gun shows from private individuals. The Center also says:
Within our own borders, weak gun laws in most states make it easy for deadly firearms to fall into the wrong hands. And this fact is far from a secret—a senior al-Qaeda leader even lauded how simple it is to obtain firearms in America, releasing a video message to urge followers to buy guns in states without universal background checks.
Think Progress also notes that:
While those applying for refugee status must complete “the most stringent security process for anyone entering the United States,” those attempting to purchase guns through private sales at gun shows in Texas and many other states are not required to undergo any background checks whatsoever. Virtually none of the millions of refugees admitted into the United States since 1980 have become terrorists, but the U.S. leads the world in mass shootings — almost all of which are perpetrated by people born in America.