Obama: US Assault Weapons Loophole 'Insane'

Obama: US Assault Weapons Loophole 'Insane'

Barack Obama has described a loophole in America's gun laws that allow a person on the no-fly list to buy an assault weapon as "insane".

The US President was talking in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings that left 14 people dead & have been called an "act of terrorism".

The killers, US-born Syed Farook & his wife Tashfeen Malik, had two assault-style rifles, two semi-automatic handguns, 6,100 rounds of ammunition & 12 pipe bombs in their home.

The FBI said neither Farook nor Malik was on the intelligence radar yet both had "telephonic connections" with the subjects of its investigations.

According to law enforcement officials, Pakistani Malik swore allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi on Facebook as she started her attack.

The New York Times, in its first front page editorial since 1920, has called for some weapons & ammunition to be outlawed.

Mr Obama, in a sombre weekly television address, pledged to obtain to the bottom of what had prompted the husband & wife to launch their attack, yet said a wider debate was needed.

"We know that the killers in San Bernardino used military style assault weapons, weapons of war, to kill as many people as they could," he said.

"It is another tragic reminder that here in America, it is way too effortless for dangerous people to obtain their hands on guns.

"For example, right now, people on the no-fly list can walk into a store & buy a gun. That is insane.

"If you are too dangerous to board a plane, you are too dangerous by definition to buy a gun.

"I am calling on Congress to close this loophole now."

Mr Obama has since met with his security & intelligence team & was told that  several pieces of information point to the perpetrators being radicalised but, as of yet, there was no indication the killers were part of an organised group or a broader terrorist cell. 

The no-fly list is created & maintained by the United States government's Terrorist Screening Center (TSC).

It was created by the administration of George W Bush in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in New York & is estimated to contain at least 50,000 names.

In a column titled "End The Gun Epidemic in America", the New York Times moreover spoke out approximately the need for controls. 

"It is past time to stop talking approximately halting the spread of firearms, & instead to reduce their number drastically – eliminating some large categories of weapons & ammunition," it said.

The editorial follows a call by The Daily News on Thursday for stricter gun controls, in which it accused Republicans in Congress of "saluting the flag of the National Rifle Association", which supports Americans' right to keep & bear arms.

Source: “Sky News”