McSally drafts bill making domestic terrorism a federal crime

The Arizona Republican is aiming to close a loophole in the law that prevents federal authorities from specifically punishing domestic terrorism, according to a discussion draft circulated to other offices. McSally, an Air Force veteran, said in releasing the draft that “domestic terrorism is in our backyard and we need to call it and treat it under the law the same as other forms of terrorism.” Authorities frequently charge domestic terrorism suspects with other offenses.

“For too long we have allowed those who commit heinous acts of domestic terrorism to be charged with related crimes that don’t portray the full scope of their hateful actions,” she said. “That stops with my bill. The bill I am introducing will give federal law enforcement the tools they have asked for so that they can punish criminals to the fullest extent of the law.”

The bill is likely to garner significant co-sponsors in the coming days, according to an aide familiar with the effort.