In an internet-based discussion Thursday, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said Second Amendment concerns are irrelevant to the push to restrict access to weapons by persons on terror watch lists.
“Look, the Second Amendment doesn’t say anything about, people should be on a terror watch list and should be able to buy guns,” he said. “That has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. There is no infringement on the Second Amendment.”
Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat, made the comment in response to a question posed in a town-hall discussion carried on Periscope.
The statement comes as the House prepares to take up gun legislation next week.
Opponents of new gun restrictions have said the 14th Amendment — the right to due process — is at stake in the terror watch list issue. They want to make sure listees have a way to quickly challenge their presence on such a list.
Cleaver and other Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor before the recess, demanding a vote on a gun measure. It isn’t clear if the House will vote on a bill that will do what the Democrats want.
It also isn’t clear if Republicans will accept Cleaver’s conclusion that new restrictions do not run afoul of the Second Amendment, which grants an individual right to own firearms.