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The terrorist group aims to exploit loopholes in U.S. gun laws to commit acts of terrorism.
The so-called Islamic State has encouraged its American followers to take advantage of U.S. gun laws to purchase weapons for use in lone-wolf terror attacks.
Rumiyah, the Islamic State’s digitally produced multilingual propaganda magazine, often publishes information for its worldwide followers on how to perpetrate acts of terrorism and to maximize the effects of that violence.
In the most recent edition, the Washington Post reports, a column entitled ‘Just Terror Tactics’ urges recruits to attend U.S. gun conventions which, it reads, provide “an easier means of arming oneself for an attack.”
“The acquisition of firearms can be very simple depending on one’s geographical location,” the piece reads. “In most U.S. states, anything from a single-shot shotgun all the way up to a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle can be purchased at showrooms or through online sales—by way of private dealers—with no background checks, and without requiring either an ID or a gun license.”
“With approximately 5,000 gun shows taking place annually within the United States, the acquisition of firearms becomes a very easy matter,” the column goes on, explaining that guns can be purchased without requiring the kind of assistance that might raise alarm.
“If one does not possess any direct or informal contact with any gun dealers, he should abstain from randomly asking people whom they consider ‘trustworthy’ for help in acquiring them, as in many cases this can lead to one falling into the trap of police sting operations or, at the very least, bringing upon oneself unnecessary suspicion.”
Federal rules restrict the sale of firearms by licensed dealers by requiring background check on buyers. However, private sellers, who often attend conventions, are not subject to that law and can sell to other individuals within their state without a paper trail.
Gun control advocacy organizations have consistently opposed these loopholes that, it seems, terrorists now aim to exploit. The possibility establishes afresh the decades-old push to manage how weapons are sold across the country, but will no doubt raise objection from gun right activists who in the past have argued that increased regulation impacts on Second Amendment constitutional rights.
The National Rifle Association, which consistently opposes any restrictions on gun ownership, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
H/T Washington Post
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology. He previously covered civil liberties, crime, and politics for Vice.