OPIOID SERIES:

Senators introduce bill to block terrorists from buying guns

Senators introduce bill to block terrorists from buying guns
© Getty Images

A bipartisan group of senators is reviving "no fly, no buy," legislation that would block suspected terrorists from being able to buy guns.

The bill, known as the Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act, would allow the attorney general to deny the sale of a firearm to individuals on the no-fly list or selectee list, which subjects airline passengers to additional screening. 

"If you are considered to be too dangerous to fly on an airplane, you should not be able to buy a firearm,” Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Energy: Trump NASA pick advances after drama | White House office to investigate Pruitt's soundproof booth | 170 lawmakers call for Pruitt to resign Trump's NASA nominee advances after floor drama Family, friends mourn death of Barbara Bush MORE (R-Maine) said in a statement. “This bill is a sensible step we can take right now to reform our nation’s gun laws while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans."

Sens. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer The Hill's Morning Report: Inside the Comey memos Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo MORE (D-N.D.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOvernight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes Arizona GOP tinkers with election rules with an eye on McCain's seat Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State MORE (R-Ariz.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichDem senators unveil expanded public option for health insurance Senators introduced revised version of election cyber bill Senate Intel releases summary of election security report MORE (D-N.M.), Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyWH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race Newly declassified memos detail extent of improper Obama-era NSA spying MORE (R-Pa.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinDem senators unveil expanded public option for health insurance Dem senators call on FCC to protect against robocalls GOP Senate hopefuls race to catch up with Dems MORE (D-Wisc.), Angus KingAngus Stanley KingDemocrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Overnight Defense: Trump steps up fight with California over guard deployment | Heitkamp is first Dem to back Pompeo for State | Dems question legality of Syria strikes Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State MORE (I-Maine), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonOvernight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes Scott ramps up spending to million in Florida Senate race Overnight Energy: Trump NASA pick advances after drama | White House office to investigate Pruitt's soundproof booth | 170 lawmakers call for Pruitt to resign MORE (D-Fla.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDemocrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State Trump eyes Cold War statute to keep coal burning: report MORE (D-W.Va.) are supporting the legislation. 

“If we suspect someone of being a terrorist and think it would be too dangerous to let that person on a plane, it’s probably not a good idea to let that person buy a gun either,” said Nelson.  “That's just common sense.”

In addition to allowing the attorney general to deny a sale, it would also alert the FBI and local law enforcement when an individual who has been on either of the watch lists tries to buy a gun. 

An individual who was denied the ability to buy a gun would be able to appeal and have their case heard before a judge within two weeks.

The Senate debated dueling proposals in 2015, but both failed.

In 2016, during his campaign, President TrumpDonald John TrumpIG investigating Comey memos over classified information: report Overnight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer Top Pruitt aid requested backdate to resignation letter: report MORE indicated he would consider backing a "no fly, no buy" policy to restrict individuals on the airline terrorist watch list from being able to purchase guns and said he would meet with the National Rifle Association to discuss it. The NRA opposed such legislation, and Trump later walked back his support, saying he "understands exactly" the organization's position.