NRA News Attacks Buzzfeed's Al Qaeda Story To Downplay Need For Stronger Gun Laws

NRA News host Cam Edwards claimed that Buzzfeed promoted the views of Al Qaeda by reporting on a video of an Al Qaeda spokesperson encouraging terrorists to use gun shows to obtain weapons without a background check. This claim comes as a deal has reportedly been struck for legislation that would require a background check for all sales at gun shows.

Edwards also downplayed the well-documented patronage of gun shows by terrorists and other dangerous individuals.

On the April 10 edition of NRA News' Cam & Company, Edwards accused reporter Andrew Kaczynski of “approvingly citing Al Qaeda to bolster gun control arguments,” and asked, “I wonder when Buzzfeed is going to start citing Al Qeada's pop culture criticism of the United States too?”

EDWARDS: So Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski is now approvingly citing Al Qaeda to bolster gun control arguments. Remember the chairman of Buzzfeed has said I'm not going to give money to any Democrat candidates who don't vote for gun control. Kaczynski has a piece at Buzzfeed right now, “Even Al Qaeda Thought America's Gun Background Check System Was Weak.” Right. I wonder when Buzzfeed is going to start citing Al Qeada's pop culture criticism of the United States too. Kaczynski gives this example of [American Al Qaeda spokesperson] Adam Gadahn who said back in 2011, “America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?” Now Al Qaeda was wrong about our gun laws. But hey, they actually repeated this, you know, President Obama made the same incorrect statement about fully automatic firearms. What the heck. Everybody gets it wrong I guess. It's just weird that Buzzfeed is like, “Well see look Al Qaeda said our gun laws are weak so we should totally change our gun laws.” 17 Al Qaeda Cats.

Far from “approvingly citing Al Qeada,” Kaczynski's article instead reported on the existence of a video released by Al Qaeda, where American-born Al Qaeda member Adam Gadahn urged supporters to exploit American gun shows to obtain weaponry. While it is illegal to buy fully automatic weaponry at gun shows without a background check, in many states it is possible to buy semi-automatic assault weapons at a gun show without undergoing a criminal check. Furthermore, government investigators have confirmed that parts to convert semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic machineguns are easily obtained at gun shows.

Terrorists, including members of the Irish Republican Army and Hezbollah, have been caught exploiting gun shows to obtain weapons. According to a 2001 New York Times article:

On Sept. 10, [2001] for example, a jury in Detroit convicted Ali Boumelhem, a member of the terrorist group Hezbollah, on charges of conspiring to smuggle guns and ammunition to Lebanon. The F.B.I. had observed Mr. Boumelhem buying weapons at gun shows in Michigan.

Last year, a man accused of being a member of the Irish Republican Army, Conor Claxton, testified in federal court in Fort Lauderdale that he had gone to South Florida to buy guns at gun shows to smuggle to Northern Ireland.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms has identified gun shows as “a major venue for illegal trafficking” of firearms, and has specifically linked private sales at gun shows to trafficking operations -- some involving Mexican drug cartels. According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, “some ATF officials told us, based on information from their operations and investigations, many seized guns also come from private sales at gun shows, though it is impossible to know this exact number due to the lack of records kept for such purchases.”