NRA Announces Support for Restrictions on Gun Sales to Certain Individuals

June 15th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

In the wake of the Orlando mass shooting, the National Rifle Association — one of the most influential lobbying groups in the United States — announced on Wednesday that it supports restrictions on gun sales for individuals on the FBI terrorist watch list, Reuters reports.

The NRA said that people on the terrorist watch list who attempt to purchase a gun should be investigated by the FBI and that the sale should be delayed. The NRA also wants to implement "due process protections" so that those wrongly included on the watch list can be removed. 

Here's the NRA's full statement. 

"The NRA’s position on this issue has not changed. The NRA believes that terrorists should not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms, period. Anyone on a terror watchlist who tries to buy a gun should be thoroughly investigated by the FBI and the sale delayed while the investigation is ongoing. If an investigation uncovers evidence of terrorist activity or involvement, the government should be allowed to immediately go to court, block the sale, and arrest the terrorist. At the same time, due process protections should be put in place that allow law-abiding Americans who are wrongly put on a watchlist to be removed."

As it stands, individuals on the terrorist watch list are legally allowed to purchase firearms and explosives, according to a 2013 report by the Congressional Research Service. Being on the list is not "in and of itself a disqualifying factor."

Now advocates and lawmakers are trying to change that. Senate Democrats, including Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), initiated a filibuster on the Senate floor on Wednesday in an effort to rouse action on gun reform, RealClearPolitics reports.

The conversation about amending this loophole began after it was revealed that Omar Mateen, the gunman in the Orlando mass shooting, was investigated twice by the FBI (both cases were closed) and put on the terrorist watch list for 10 months before being removed.

The NRA's support for this one gun reform measure is striking, given the organization's history of resisting what lawmakers call "common sense gun reform." The organization has opposed proposals to expand background checks for gun buyers despite overwhelming public support for the reform measure.

ATTN: reached out to the NRA for additional details about the organization's policy recommendation, but a representative was not immediately available.