Bipartisan Group of Members Introduce Legislation to Prevent Terrorists from Buying Firearms

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Washington, June 24, 2016 | comments

Washington, D.C.
—Today, a bipartisan group of Members in the House, representing vastly different regions of our country, came together to introduce legislation that will deny the sale of firearms to those on No-Fly lists. H.R. 5576, the House-companion to the bipartisan Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act led by Sen. Collins (R-ME), was introduced by Reps. Curbelo (R-FL), Moulton (D-MA), King (R-NY), Thompson (D-CA), Dold (R-IL), Kelly (D-IL), Rigell (R-VA), Gabbard (D-HI), and Carney (D-DE). Specifically, this legislation would give the United States Attorney General the ability to:

  • Prevent individuals on the “No-Fly” and Selectee lists from legally purchasing firearms and explosives
  • Create a process for Americans and lawful permanent residents to appeal a denial in a federal court
  • Protect ongoing counter-terrorism investigations by giving the Attorney General the discretion to allow gun sales to go forward for individuals covered by this Act
  • Implement a five-year "look-back” provision to immediately notify the Attorney General and federal, state, and local law enforcement if anyone who is or was entered into the broader Terrorist Screening Database attempts to buy a gun from a licensed dealer

Rep. Curbelo offered the following statement:
 “We must protect Americans from the ever increasing threat of terrorism and violent acts of hatred here at home while we fight radical jihadists overseas. After the horrific massacre in Orlando, and countless other mass shootings across the country, the American people want answers. Congress must act, at the very least, to ensure individuals on the No-Fly list and "selectee" list cannot purchase a firearm. This legislation does just that and ensures due process for law-abiding citizens. I commend Senator Collins and her bipartisan group of colleagues for their tireless work in building significant consensus on this issue. The bipartisan, bicameral effort to pass this legislation should be a top priority for Congress, and I will not rest until we keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous terrorists while protecting Second Amendment rights for law-abiding Americans who pose no threat to the homeland."

Rep. Seth Moulton offered the following statement: “Our constituents didn't send us to Washington to stand in silence. They sent us to Washington to keep our communities safe. This bipartisan bill will help to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists and those who seek to do our country harm. It’s time to put party aside and come together to make progress for the American people. Today we’re doing that in Congress."

Rep. Bob Dold offered the following statement: “Stopping gun violence requires more than moments of silence – we need action.  I’ve been working to keep guns out of the hands of known or suspected terrorists since my first term in Congress,” Rep. Dold said.  “The only way we’re going to actually make progress to keep families safe is through bipartisan action.  This bipartisan, bicameral proposal to keep dangerous weapons away from those who wish to do our country harm, while protecting due process, is an important step forward and a bipartisan solution we should all be able to get behind.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard offered the following statement: 
"We owe it to the American people to work together to try to get sensible gun control legislation actually passed—and in order to do that, it must be a bipartisan effort.  Majorities in both parties agree with the vast majority of the American people—we need to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists.  However, we must also ensure that any action we take does not compromise the rights to due process guaranteed to every citizen.  There are valid constitutional concerns related to the lack of due process and transparency for those who have mistakenly been placed on the No Fly List and Terror Watch List.  This legislation is a bipartisan compromise that will help to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, while protecting our constitutionally-guaranteed civil liberties."

Rep. Scott Rigell offered the following statement:  “A terrorist should not be able to fly on a plane or buy a gun. Though that statement reflects common-sense and common ground, legislation that would make it a reality is the subject of divisive debate in Washington. There has always been tension between our liberty and our safety, but advancing both can be done. If a person is deemed too dangerous to board a plane, they’re too dangerous to purchase a firearm.  Our legislation affects the approximately 3,000 Americans (or 0.00001% of the population) who our intelligence agencies have determined pose a significant threat to our national security.  This is common-sense, bipartisan, bicameral legislation that allows us to achieve both by prohibiting an individual on the ‘No-Fly list or Selectee lists from purchasing a firearm, while also providing a fully sufficient legal mechanism that guarantees due process. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in introducing this needed legislation today."

Rep. Mike Thompson offered the following statement: “An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that if you’re too dangerous to fly, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun. Congress has a responsibility to listen to the will of the people, put partisan politics aside and do what it takes to help keep Americans safe by making sure suspected terrorists don’t have easy access to guns. And that’s what this bipartisan, commonsense legislation is all about.”

Rep. Peter King offered the following statement: “After September 11th, common sense dictates that the federal government stop gun sales to suspects on the terrorist watch list. Federal law already prohibits nine categories of dangerous persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, including the mentally ill and criminals. Yet, after almost 15 years, we still allow suspected terrorists the ability to purchase firearms . It’s time for common sense to prevail before it’s too late."

Rep. Robin Kelly offered the following statement: “Common sense gun violence prevention has been my top priority since being elected to Congress.  I am pleased that a handful of brave and honorable Republican colleagues have taken a stand and reached out to work with Democrats on the simplest of measures: keeping guns away from terrorists.  The last two days have been a watershed moment.  I truly hope that the leadership of Senator Collins is the beginning of bipartisanship in addressing our nation’s gun violence epidemic.  This is a problem we can only solve by working together.” 

Rep. John Carney offered the following statement: "Time and time again we’ve seen the price of inaction on gun control. We’ve seen countless mass shootings and lost the lives of loved ones across the country. The American people are frustrated, as are many of my colleagues here in Congress. I’m proud to help lead this bipartisan effort in the House. The only way we can take meaningful action, action that our constituents are urging us to take, is to work with both sides of the aisle. I hope we can continue to move forward on this common-sense measure to keep guns out of the hands of those wishing to do us harm."

Click here for a summary of the legislation.

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