A prominent Senate Democrat introduced legislation this week designed to keep firearms out of the hands of suspected terrorists living in the United States.
Sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), the proposal would bar those on the government’s terrorist watch list from buying guns – a designation that currently doesn’t disqualify them.
Lautenberg thinks that’s a mistake.
“Even if every gun sale is subjected to a background check, terrorists will still be able to buy guns legally in America unless we pass my bill to close the ‘Terror Gap,'” Lautenberg said Wednesday in a statement.
“From attacks on Ft. Hood to Mumbai, terror plots carried out using guns and readily available explosives are more and more common and we must act to stop terrorists from getting these weapons and killing Americans.”
Current federal law requires licensed firearms dealers to perform background checks on potential gun buyers to weed out those prohibited from buying or owning guns, including felons, fugitives, spousal abusers, illegal immigrants and the severely mentally ill. But those on the FBI’s terrorist watch list — while barred from air travel — may purchase guns legally.