Durbin urges House to close gun-buying loophole for terror suspects
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined other Democrats last week in urging the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on a bipartisan bill that would give the federal government power to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns and explosives in the U.S.
Current law gives suspected terrorists the right to buy and possess guns and explosives. Durbin, citing a report from the Government Accountability Office, said that between 2004 and 2014, suspected terrorists had a 91 percent success rate in buying guns, making more than 2,000 purchases during that time period.
“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 U.S. and purchase a firearm or an explosive for the purpose of carrying out a terrorist act,” the letter stated. “In light of the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, the need to pass such legislation is more imperative than ever, so that the U.S. can address a serious national security and public safety weakness: the terrorist background check loophole that allows suspected terrorists to swiftly pass a background check and obtain a dangerous weapon.”
The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015 would give the U.S. Attorney General authority to intervene in gun purchases by suspected terrorists if the government can prove that the person is a higher threat to national security if he or she purchases the weapon.
The bill is sponsored by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY). It has not yet been scheduled for a vote.