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 SandersHoward Dean endorses Buttigieg in DNC race A guide to the committees: Senate Ellison holds edge in DNC race survey MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus KingA guide to the committees: Senate Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs Senate advances Trump's Commerce pick MORE (Maine), wrote a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDem senator predicts Gorsuch will be confirmed ­ObamaCare fix hinges on Medicaid clash in Senate A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanPence is Trump’s top surrogate Border tax is reverse redistribution CEOs come to defense of border tax plan MORE (R-Wis.) urging them to "quickly" bring up legislation from Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinA guide to the committees: Senate Dem: Trump's China trademark looks like a quid pro quo Senate advances Trump's Commerce pick MORE (D-Calif.), or a similar bill from Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), to the floor for a vote. 

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"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 ReidHopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs If Gorsuch pick leads to 'crisis,' Dems should look in mirror first Senate confirms Mulvaney to be Trump’s budget chief 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."