Jun 20 2016
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) today spoke at a press conference following the vote on her amendment to give the attorney general the authority to block the sale of guns to known or suspected terrorists:
Her remarks follow:
“Well, here we go again. Another mass shooting—this time the largest in history. Forty-nine dead, 53 injured. Another chance for Congress to take meaningful action. Another missed opportunity.
“Today, we couldn’t even agree to prevent known and suspected terrorists from buying guns. The power of the gun lobby over certain members of the Senate seems boundless.
“The alternative, some are suggesting, is to limit the “No Guns for Terrorists” legislation to cover just the no-fly list. That, I believe, is a serious mistake.
“If we use very narrow lists, if we do that, we’re left with a bill that has no teeth and misses many individuals who shouldn’t be able to purchase guns.
“After just a few minutes of brief review, my staff came up with multiple examples of individuals charged with crimes related to terrorism who also flew on planes.
“It’s impossible to tell how many people with ties to terrorism wouldn’t be covered by the Collins amendment. If we focus only on the no-fly and selectee lists, we ignore nearly 900,000 foreign nationals on the terrorist watch list who can legally purchase guns.
“For example, 20 million on the Visa Waiver Program alone can come from a European country with no visa into this country and be able to buy guns.
“Also, we ignore around 2,300 U.S. persons determined by the FBI to be known or suspected terrorists.
“The legislation that was defeated today included Second Amendment protections and the ability to appeal a denied gun administratively and in a court of law.
“It protected the ability of law enforcement to investigate potential crimes of terrorism.
“And most importantly, it would keep deadly firearms out of the hands of known and suspected terrorists.
“I’m hopeful we’ll be able to revisit this bill at some point in the future and cooler heads will prevail.
“I find it really inexcusable that any individual at all, a felon, a domestic abuser, someone mentally ill, can buy weapon online or a gun show with no scrutiny at all.
“The Murphy amendment was such a good amendment. It sealed all those loopholes in background checks.
“So I’m hoping that one day the climate will change. My own view, my personal view, is that we’re going into an election season. Mr. and Mrs. America, you have to stand up. And you have to say I’m going to vote only for people who do something to close the terror gap, to keep out of the hands of mentally incompetent, who are criminals and would use them illegally.
“Maybe, just maybe this next election could produce something.”