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 SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Ben & Jerry’s co-founders announce effort to help 7 Dem House challengers Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingRestoring our national parks would be a bipartisan win for Congress Restore our parks Renaming Senate office building after McCain sparks GOP backlash MORE (Maine), wrote a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDoug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week GOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow does the 25th Amendment work? Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act GOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign MORE (R-Wis.) urging them to "quickly" bring up legislation from Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate The Memo: Could Kavanaugh furor spark another ‘year of the woman’? Sexual assault is not a game — stop using women to score political points MORE (D-Calif.), or a similar bill from Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), to the floor for a vote. 
ADVERTISEMENT

"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 ReidKavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow Dems can’t ‘Bork’ Kavanaugh, and have only themselves to blame Dem senator: Confidential documents would 'strongly bolster' argument against Kavanaugh's nomination 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."