Foreign Terrorists and the Availability of Firearms and Black Powder in the United States [open pdf - 1MB]
Foreign terrorists could exploit, and probably have exploited in some cases, the general availability of firearms, ammunition, and, in some cases, explosives in the United States through either legal or illegal channels. In many ways, the 28 questions addressed in this memorandum are parallel to existing issues regarding the increased federal regulation of firearms. It does not provide definitive answers to these questions but rather, it provides background on the underlying issues - many of which apply to citizens as well as to foreign terrorists. This memorandum is organized into six sections that: provide an overview in the form of brief responses that are grouped into major issue areas; consider the term "foreign terrorist" based on definitions of terrorism, including international terrorism; outline categories of persons prohibited from possessing firearms and noncitizen eligibility to possess and purchase firearms and ammunition; examine issues related to the federal regulation of firearm transfers, multiple sales, Brady Act background checks, record retention and access, and gun shows; provide background on semiautomatic assault weapons and 50-caliber sniper rifles; and briefly examine federal regulation of black powder.
CRS Memorandum, May 16, 2003