Dems seek to force vote on keeping guns from terror suspects
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House Democrats launched a campaign Monday to force a vote on legislation that would ban people on a government terror watch list from buying guns.

The press comes a day after President Obama, in a prime-time Oval Office address, called for restricting suspected terrorists who aren't allowed to board airplanes from purchasing firearms in the aftermath of last week's shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) filed a discharge petition Monday afternoon in the hopes of attracting enough bipartisan support to bypass House GOP leaders who won't bring the bill to the floor.


"If you agree that terrorists shouldn’t be able to have guns, then put your name down in writing and let’s have a vote," said Thompson, who chairs the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

The discharge petition, a rarely invoked procedure, requires 218 signatures.

Democrats and Republicans successfully used a discharge petition earlier this year to force a vote on legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. The October vote was the first time since 2002 that a discharge petition was used successfully.

But attracting enough votes for the petition will be a tall order because of deep reluctance among Republicans for new gun control measures. If all 188 Democrats sign on to it, they would need at least 30 Republicans to join with them.

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) authored the underlying bill, which would prevent people on the "no fly" list from buying weapons. But so far, King and fellow centrist Reps. Dan Donovan (N.Y.) and Robert Dold (Ill.) are the only Republicans who have signed on to the measure.

Gun rights groups such as the National Rifle Association argue that the measure would violate due process rights because people on the list haven't necessarily been convicted of a crime.

The GOP-controlled Senate rejected a similar measure last week in the form of an amendment to an ObamaCare repeal bill. Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBiden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund Stripping opportunity from DC's children Progressive groups ask for town hall with Feinstein to talk filibuster MORE D-Calif.) added the measure, which failed 45-54. 

Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenate hopefuls embrace nuking filibuster Biden fails to break GOP 'fever' Nevada governor signs law making state first presidential primary MORE (D-Nev.) said Monday that Senate Democrats would continue to force votes on Feinstein's legislation, though he didn't specify when. 
"If a person has pledged allegiance to ISIS online and is barred from flying due to the threat they pose, that man or woman can still walk in any gun shop and purchase weapons and ammunition," he added. "That's wrong."
Jordain Carney contributed.
This story was updated at 4:05 p.m.