Feinstein introduces bill to prohibit foreign felons from buying guns in the US

“We must close this gap in our laws before it is exploited by terrorists, drug gangs, and other dangerous criminals who threaten our communities,” Feinstein said Thursday. “Under current Federal law, people who are convicted in the United Sates of violent felonies like rape, murder and terrorism are prohibited from possessing firearms. But, shockingly, Federal law does not bar criminals convicted of these same violent crimes in foreign courts from possessing guns.”

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Feinstein said the loophole was created under the 2005 Supreme Court decision in Small v. United States. Her bill would amend the Gun Control Act to say that a person could be banned from owning a gun in the U.S. if they are convicted of a felony in “any court,” which includes federal, state and foreign courts.

“In other words, the bill would make it clear that if someone was convicted in a foreign court of an offense that would have disqualified him from possessing a gun in the U.S., then they will be disqualified from gun possession under U.S. law,” Feinstein said. “Particularly in these times, America cannot continue to give foreign-convicted murderers, rapists, and even terrorists the right to buy firearms in the United States.”

The bill would also allow law enforcement to seek a higher sentence for foreign felons that are caught committing a second crime with a gun in the U.S.

Feinstein has drafted several gun-control measures since the December mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children were killed by an armed gunman.

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