Schumer pushes for gun sale ban for those on terror watchlist

May 1, 2013

While universal background checks for gun buyers proved to be a death knell in the latest attempt to pass gun control legislation in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Charles Schumer is hoping a tightening up of current background checks is on the horizon.

Schumer, a Democrat, wants to close a loophole that allows people on a federal terrorist watchlist to legally buy guns in the United States.

"There are about 700,000 people on the terrorist watchlist, not all of them American citizens," the senator said during a recent stop in Syracuse. "And there have been in the last year 1,325 incidents where someone on a terrorist watchlist went in and bought a gun."

He says the situation with the recent Boston bombers is a case that illuminates a terror gap when it comes to gun control.

"The Tsarnaev brothers, one of them was on a watchlist. The older brother, who was killed, could have gone into any gun store and bought as many guns as he wanted," Schumer said. "So we are trying to stop that, and I think that will get some bipartisan support."

Schumer says as it stands now, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System only rejects gun sales to people who meet one of nine criteria. For example, being a convicted felon or domestic abuser would disqualify someone.

Proposed legislation would also keep people who are on the terrorist watchlist from buying a firearm.