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House To Vote On Terrorist Watch List Gun-Buying Ban

| by Robert Fowler
The House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of WisconsinThe House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

The House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has told fellow GOP lawmakers that a gun measure designed to block terrorist suspects from purchasing firearms will be on the table in an upcoming terrorism package.

On June 30, Ryan held a conference call with fellow Republicans to discuss a number of issues to be addressed after the House returns from its July 4 week-long recess. He allegedly said that a bill that would address gun sales to persons on the FBI terrorist watch list would be brought to the table.

Details of the bill remain vague, but a source told Reuters that Ryan said that barring suspected terrorists from buying guns is "just common sense."

Currently, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine has proposed a bill to ban individuals on the "No Fly List," a more specific list than the terrorist watchlist, from purchasing firearms. Ryan allegedly hopes that the House will pass a complementary bill.

Democratic lawmakers are skeptical that the provision Ryan was referencing would be sufficient. Last week, Democratic House members protested the lack of action on gun legislation by staging a sit-in on the chamber floor.

Ryan is allegedly considering punishment for those Democrats, with some GOP lawmakers suggesting that they be censured after the House returns from recess.

Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia has vowed that his colleagues will continue to stage sit-ins if satisfactory gun legislation is not brought to a vote in the House.

The House Minority Leader, Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, has signaled that Democrats will stage protests around the country to raise awareness of Republican inaction on the issue.

"House Democrats will keep up our efforts to push for the majority to allow a vote on gun violence legislation, but bringing up a bill authored by the NRA just isn't going to cut it," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told The Hill

House Democrats have voiced concern that the legislation Republicans will bring in for vote will closely resemble a bill previously proposed by Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York.

Zeldin's bill would have called for the attorney general to prove in court that a person on the terrorist watch list was a danger within three days to deny that person a gun purchase. House Democrats have ridiculed the bill as ineffective.

"This is the NRA bill," spokesman Hammill said of Zeldin's legislation.

A Quinnipiac University poll released on June 30 found that 86 percent of Americans support banning people on the "No Fly List" from purchasing a firearm, with only 12 percent against, WTIC reports.

Sources: WTIC, The HillReuters / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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