DelBene Supports Bill to Prevent Terror Suspects from Buying Guns

Press Release

Date: Dec. 4, 2015
Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today cosponsored the bipartisan Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act (H.R.1076), which would close a loophole that has allowed more than 2,000 suspects on the FBI Terrorist Watchlist to buy guns.

"I am first and foremost committed to protecting the lives of Americans. Rather than focusing on fear mongering and political theater, Congress needs to get serious about taking meaningful steps to protect the people we were sent here to represent," DelBene said. "Commonsense, bipartisan legislation like H.R. 1076 is just one thing we can do to better protect our communities from the tragic cycle of gun violence, and it is imperative for policymakers on both sides of the aisle to work together with local and federal law enforcement officials, mental health and public health experts, and law-abiding gun owners to find additional ways to prevent the kinds of atrocities we've seen in recent weeks."

Earlier this week, Republican leadership blocked the House from considering H.R.1076, which was introduced by Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). Current law prohibits felons, fugitives and drug addicts from purchasing firearms but known and suspected terrorists can freely purchase handguns or assault-style rifles. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found that between 2004 and 2014, suspected terrorists attempted to purchase guns from American dealers at least 2,233 times. And in 2,043 of those cases -- 91 percent of the time -- they succeeded.

Approximately 32,000 Americans die from gun violence each year. There have been more than 350 mass shootings so far this year -- and at least three mass shooting within this week alone.

DelBene has also cosponsored a bipartisan bill (H.R. 1217) that would require universal background checks of all gun purchases -- something Washington state has already passed. And she recently joined colleagues in writing a letter urging congressional leadership to lift the prohibition on federally funded research on gun violence so that lawmakers can make informed decision based on sound scientific evidence.