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The latest attacks in the US using firearms purchased too readily and easily have brought about the beginning of a new perception for security services in the country. Now, Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson has announced that the agency, which is tasked with preventing terrorism within the United States, will be looking into gun control as a matter of national security.
“When it comes to protecting the United States from the threat of terrorism, gun control is now a critical component,” said Johnson. “It’s critical to public safety, but we have to face the fact that meaningful, responsible gun control has to be part of homeland security as well, given the prospect of homegrown, home-born violent extremism in this country,” Johnson continued.
Republicans claim that new gun laws will not necessarily keep guns out of the hands of people intent on doing harm. “This is not a gun control issue. This is a terrorism issue,” Senator Ted Cruz said.
Efforts to make gun laws stricter have failed in Congress over the last decade. The assault weapons ban, for example, expired in 2004 and lawmakers have not renewed that legislation.
Over just the past five years, lawmakers have introduced more than 100 gun control proposals in Congress. Not one of them has been passed into law, and very few of the proposals even made it to the House or Senate floor.
Johnson’s comments echo those of President Barack Obama, who said: “We are also going to have to make sure that we think about the risks we are willing to take by being so lax in how we make very powerful firearms available to people in this country.”