During Tuesday night's edition of “The O'Reilly Factor,” the Fox News host got into a heated exchange with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) over the concept of Congress passing legislation that the FBI would be notified whenever anyone purchases “heavy weapons.”
Bill O’Reilly said it makes sense for Congress “to pass a new law that requires the sale of all heavy weapons to be reported to the FBI. In this age of terrorism, that law is badly needed.”
The host defined “heavy weapons” as “mortars, howitzers and machine guns. In this age of terrorism, if you do a flight school, the FBI is alerted. But you can buy a machine gun, and the FBI doesn’t know. And you think that’s responsible?”
The Utah Congressman said the host's assertions were “untrue.” He then declared:
If you buy a fully automatic weapon, you have to get a tax certificate from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in order to do that. You have to pass a fingerprint, background check You can't go out and just go and buy a bazooka as you suggest, or a fully automatic machine gun.
In response, O'Reilly stated that anyone can buy an AK-47 at a gun show and not report the purchase to any government agency.
“As the guy in Colorado proved, you can buy a massive amount of ammunition on the Internet, and nobody is reported,” he continued.
As a result, he noted, his proposed law “makes common sense. It’s not an intrusion on gun rights.”
If you sell heavy weaponry -- all right -- semiautomatics, automatics ammunition, all you do is you file with the FBI. And that way, the FBI can cross-reference, all right? Say the FBI has you on a terror watch list. And then it comes in that you are buying an AK. Well, the FBI is going to put you under surveillance.
“You’re not going to assign an FBI agent to follow each and every law-abiding citizen who buys whatever your definition is a large number of pieces of ammunition,” Chaffetz countered.
"If you buy 60,000 rounds, you certainly will!" O'Reilly shouted back, referring to the amount of ammunition 24-year-old James Holmes purchased before going on a shooting spree last Friday.
The host then stated: “If the FBI is alerted that somebody is buying 60,000 heavy-duty rounds, they’re going to check it out because that’s what anti-terrorism is! That’s what they do!”
Chaffetz responded that O'Reilly was “ignoring the current law on the books. You are coming up with this wild definition of what is so-called heavy armament.”
“This is the Second Amendment,” the Congressman added. “You have a lawful and reasonable right to be able to go out and purchase weapons and ammunition.”
“You’re telling me you object to this?” the host responded incredulously “This doesn’t intrude on any hunter, anybody with a handgun to protect themself, anybody with a rifle, this is an AK! Come on!”
The Republican Congressman disagreed, stating that O'Reilly is “totally misinformed” about the issue as the time for the segment ended.
Commenting on the debate, Andrea Ryan of thegatewaypundit.com stated that “Bill O’Reilly was wrong, and Chaffetz was completely correct.”
“A simple reading of the ATF’s own website is irrefutable support that Bill O’Reilly was ranting on a topic he knows nothing about,” Ryan stated, criticizing the Fox News host for “lumping” AK-47s in with mortars and heavy artillery, which she said is “astoundingly misinformed.”
As NewsBusters previously reported, CNN has used Friday's tragic shooting to force the gun control debate back into the headlines, and multiple network anchors have made a blatant liberal push for more gun regulation.
One of CNN's political analysts, David Gergen, said during his appearance on Tuesday's edition of “Anderson Cooper 360” that former President Bill Clinton should be praised for having the “guts” to stand up for further gun control.
And on Wednesday, CNN's Brooke Baldwin continued to press the issue by asking her Democratic guests why their party hasn't “done more for gun control.”