Dozens of terror suspects on federal watch lists were allowed to buy firearms legally in the United States last year, according to a Congressional investigation that points up major vulnerabilities in federal gun laws. People suspected of being members of a terrorist group are not automatically barred from legally buying a gun, and the investigation, conducted by the Government Accountability Office, indicated that people with clear links to terrorist groups had regularly taken advantage of this gap. .... F.B.I. officials maintain that they are hamstrung by laws and policies restricting the use of gun-buying records because of concerns over the privacy rights of gun owners...read on
When the country was asked to give up some of their rights to protect itself from terrorism John Ashcroft slashed the length of time that the government can keep records on instant background checks for gun buyers. It's alright to monitor libraries, but not to keep an eye on guns.