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 SandersBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Overnight Defense: Defense bill among Congress's year-end scramble | Iranian scientist's assassination adds hurdles to Biden's plan on nuclear deal | Navy scrapping USS Bonhomme Richard after fire Biden faces new Iran challenges after nuclear scientist killed MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus KingLeadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns Top cybersecurity official ousted by Trump Republicans start turning the page on Trump era MORE (Maine), wrote a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate approves two energy regulators, completing panel On The Money: Biden announces key members of economic team | GOP open to Yellen as Treasury secretary, opposed to budget pick | GAO: Labor Department 'improperly presented' jobless data Senate GOP open to confirming Yellen to be Biden's Treasury secretary MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' Bottom line Democratic anger rises over Trump obstacles to Biden transition MORE (R-Wis.) urging them to "quickly" bring up legislation from Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinIncoming Congress looks more like America The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight 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 Mason ReidFeinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Whitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee Bottom line 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."