Senate

Reid knocks GOP on gun ‘terror loophole’ after attacks

Greg Nash/The Hill

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reopened a stalemated fight over blocking suspected terrorists from buying guns and weapons after a series of weekend explosions in the New York area.  

“If you can’t fly, why should you be able to buy a gun? If you can’t fly, why should you be able to buy explosives? The only reason FBI terror suspects are allowed to buy guns and explosives is Republican opposition,” the outgoing Senate Democratic leader said Monday from the Senate floor. 
 
{mosads}Reid’s comments come after Ahmad Khan Rahami, a suspect wanted in connection with explosions in New York and New Jersey, was taken into custody. He added that in the wake of the attacks, Americans are “looking for help, for us to help.” 
 
“They want to be safe,” he said. “We can help provide that safety by closing the terror loophole but Democrats can’t do it alone. We need help from the Republicans.” 
 
The Senate most recently voted on two proposals to block suspected terrorists from being able buy guns or explosives, though neither got enough support move forward.
 
One, spearheaded by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), would allow the attorney general to block the sale of firearms to anyone on the no-fly list or what’s called the selectee list, which designates people for additional screening airports. 
 
It would also allow the decision to be appealed and would notify the FBI if someone who was the subject of a terrorism investigation within the past five years buys a gun. Opponents have argued that many people on terrorist watchlists are put there unfairly and so the bills would infringe on the Second Amendment.
 
A second measure from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) would allow the attorney general to temporarily delay the sale of a gun to someone on the no-fly or selectee lists but require court approval to deny the sale.
Tags Harry Reid Ron Johnson Susan Collins

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