Dems push GOP to block gun sales for suspected terrorists

Senate Democrats are pressuring Republicans to take up legislation that would block suspected terrorists from being able to buy a gun. 
Thirty-six Democrats, as well as Independent Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersClinton: AT&T deal 'raises questions and concerns' A Berniecrat's Argument Against Jill Stein and For Hillary Clinton Trump and millennials: He might do better than we think MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus KingBetter child care for stronger families Wells CEO Stumpf resigns from Fed advisory panel Pentagon chief: 9/11 bill could be used against US troops MORE (Maine), wrote a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellFive takeaways from Florida Senate debate Liberal groups call for delaying cures bill to next year Conservative groups urge against extending energy tax breaks MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanChaffetz says he'll vote for Trump The Trail 2016: Comeback in the works? Liberal groups call for delaying cures bill to next year MORE (R-Wis.) urging them to "quickly" bring up legislation from Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinLawmakers praise bonus-clawback suspension, pledge permanent fix Defense chief pledges to 'resolve' bonus clawback issue California National Guard official: Congress knew about bonus repayments MORE (D-Calif.), or a similar bill from Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), to the floor for a vote. 

"Republicans and Democrats alike — should have the opportunity to do their part to keep our country safe by ensuring terrorists cannot obtain firearms and explosives," they wrote in the letter released Tuesday. "By passing the bill we could save American lives and help prevent terrorists from obtaining dangerous weapons." 

Democrats have doubled down on Feinstein's legislation in the wake of the terrorist attacks. The proposal would allow the attorney general to block the sale or transfer of a gun or explosive to a suspected or known terrorist if the individual is believed to use the weapons in an act of terrorism.

But the Senate legislation, which doesn't have a Republican backer, likely faces an uphill battle in a GOP-controlled Congress. 

The letter comes after Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidCruz: Precedent exists for keeping Supreme Court short-staffed Warren’s power on the rise Republicans make M investment in Senate races MORE (D-Nev.) accused Republicans late last week of prioritizing their support of the National Rifle Association (NRA) at the expense of national security. 

Democrats point to a Government Accountability Office report that found that suspected terrorists were successfully able to purchase a gun more than 2,000 times between 2004 and 2014.   

They added in their letter to McConnell and Ryan that the Paris attacks make it "more imperative than ever" to close the so-called "terrorist background check loophole."

"There is no reason why suspected terrorists who we consider too dangerous to board airplanes should be able to walk into any gun store in the United States and purchase a firearm or an explosive for the purpose of carrying out a terrorist act," they wrote. "But today, suspected terrorists can legally purchase guns in the United States — and they’re doing so, even while law enforcement may be investigating them or pursuing their arrest or indictment."