House Republicans securing America

Congress’ most important role is to keep Americans safe, secure and free.

We are too often reminded that while we frequently hear and read about terrorist attacks abroad, we have a very real, ongoing homeland security threat within our own borders. Just a few weeks ago, at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, a radicalized Islamic terrorist, pledging allegiance to ISIS, murdered 49 innocent Americans and injured an additional 53 people. In the wake of this attack, and the rise of terrorism across the world, it is important, now more than ever, that our nation and the free world define and eliminate the threat posed by Islamic terror groups. For these reasons, I proposed legislation several months ago, the Protect America Act (H.R. 4237), which would prevent terrorists from purchasing firearms or explosives while protecting the due process rights of Americans. My proposal with Sen. Cornyn in no way, shape or form infringes upon the rights of law abiding gun owners. What it does is ensure that terrorists do not have the ability to legally purchase firearms.

{mosads}I have not met one member of Congress in favor of terrorists being able to purchase firearms or explosives. The real debate is whether and how to ensure due process for Americans.

House Democrats recently waged a disruptive sit-in to shut down Congress because they supposedly wanted to pass legislation that prevents terrorists from being able to purchase firearms. Now, with my proposal coming to the House floor, Democrats are opposing it for no good reason. Regardless of whether you are a liberal Democrat or a Conservative Republican, my proposal with Sen. Cornyn should be supported by all. It would require only the most partisan, bad intentions of my Democratic colleagues not to be praising and supporting this legislation. It would also be the height of hypocrisy and irony not to push this measure with their full energy.

Two very important facts that my Democratic colleagues shouldn’t find so inconvenient are (1) The Orlando shooter was an Islamic terrorist; and (2) the rifle and handgun used in the Orlando shooting didn’t march itself into the nightclub and discharge itself. In this situation, there is a whole lot more going on here beyond a gun control debate and attempts by members of Congress to narrow this issue so glaringly is alienating the rest of our country who understand the bigger picture.

We also must unite to ID the threat of radical Islam because you cannot eliminate a threat that you are not willing to identify. If we do not want to face this threat more and more here at home, the President and Congressional Democrats must start choosing to ID and confront it head on and stop playing partisan political games, desperately trying to slip and slide away from reality. Congress has a duty to prioritize national security over party politics, which is why Democrats should join House Republicans in passing my important proposal to prevent terrorists from purchasing firearms.


Rep. Lee Zeldin represents New York’s 1st District and is member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He is an Army veteran who continues to serve as a Major in the Army Reserves.

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