Ex-CIA chief: Congress must act now to block access to semiautomatic weapons
© Greg Nash

Former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanBrennan calls on Congress to end shutdown before negotiating border security: Not 'subservient' to the president Washington’s reflexive opposition to Trump on Syria Brennan hopes GOP abandons Trump in 2019 over 'malfeasance, corruption' MORE called for Congress to take action on gun laws following the deadly mass shooting at a South Florida high school this week.

“Having worked international counterterrorism for much of my career, it is imperative that we devote equal energy and effort to addressing the scourge of gun violence in our country,” Brennan tweeted late Thursday. “Congress needs to act now to prevent access to semiautomatic weapons that kill innocents.”



The U.S.'s assault weapons ban expired in 2004, a measure that blocked manufacturers from producing some semi-automatic weapons meant for civilian use.


Brennan has emerged as an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, slamming President TrumpDonald John TrumpPentagon update to missile defense doctrine will explore space-base technologies, lasers to counter threats Giuliani: 'I never said there was no collusion' between the Trump campaign and Russia Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles MORE for attacking FBI leaders and calling him “a deeply flawed person” for referring to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries.”

His tweet comes as Democrats step up their calls for Congress and Trump to take action on gun control following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday that left 17 people dead.

Trump said on Thursday that he would "tackle the difficult issue of mental health," but did not mention whether he would address gun laws.

Survivors of the shooting have also called for Congress to work on gun reform, and chants of “no more guns” broke out at a vigil for the shooting on Thursday.