From USA Today: Checks are working Copyright (c) 2005 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved. Wayne LaPierre 03-15-2005 22:31 EST Today's debate: Gun control Opposing view: NRA supports efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring guns. No one is more opposed to terrorists acquiring firearms than the 4 million members of the National Rifle Association of America (NRA). But a handful of politicians are trying to scare Americans into believing that terrorists are buying guns in America and that the FBI is unable to stop them. Nothing could be further from the truth, and law enforcement is doing its job well! The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was implemented in 1998, with NRA's endorsement, to help ensure that only law-abiding citizens are able to purchase a firearm. To the credit of the Department of Justice and the FBI, the system works well: Lawful Americans can buy a firearm, while felons and otherwise disqualified persons are denied. Again with NRA's support, the Department of Justice added the terrorist watch list to the NICS database. Under current policy, the FBI can block a sale to anyone on the list -- temporarily, to further investigate the individual's placement on the list; or permanently, if law prohibits the applicant from purchasing a firearm. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) studied this process and found that better communication between government agencies would enhance the efficiency of the system. Specifically, GAO recommended that the attorney general clarify procedures to ensure consistent sharing of information with counterterrorism officials. And GAO recommended that the FBI centrally manage all valid-match background checks. The NRA is pleased the Justice Department is already implementing these two recommendations. The confusion over this issue is understandable. No one knows how a subject is placed on a watch list, or how a person mistakenly added to the list can be removed. Last year, for example, Ted Kennedy's name mistakenly appeared on the government's secret "no- fly" list. It took him and his staff three weeks to clear up the confusion and get his name taken off the list -- and he's a United States senator! Despite the confusion, NRA has great confidence in our law enforcement officials. Should terrorists be allowed to buy firearms? Absolutely not. They shouldn't even be in our country.