The Obama administration on Monday chided Republicans in Congress for not supporting legislation barring individuals with suspected terrorist ties from gun ownership.
The Hill called it an attempt to shift the debate from refugees to guns, with White House press secretary Josh Earnest saying Congress’ efforts are misplaced on the so-called terror gap.
“I think that is a pretty clear indication that Republicans in Congress are more interested in playing politics and more scared of the NRA than they are concerned about doing the right thing for our national security,” Earnest said.
Recent efforts by Republican Rep. Peter King to close the terrorist loophole was opposed by the National Rifle Association and some Republicans in Congress for fear it would lead to violations of due process and the right to bear arms.
There are approximately 700,000 names in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Terrorist Screening Database, according to leaked documents. A government spokesperson told Guns.com on Friday he could neither confirm nor deny whether any individual may be included in the database “or a subset list.”
More than 2,000 people listed in the federal database have legally purchased guns over the past decade.
Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid on Friday also rebuked Republicans as a proposal from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to close the gap is being readied. Perhaps the most conservative of sponsors, center-left Independent Sen. Angus King has signed on to the bill, while no Republicans have.