- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Disregarding calls from President Obama to act on the issue, the Senate on Tuesday once again rejected a measure that would ban folks on the terror watch list from acquiring guns.

Senate Democrats, after failing in their efforts to get the measure passed last week, asked for unanimous consent to bring it up again on Tuesday. 

But GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Senate majority whip, objected and said Democrats were playing politics on the issue.

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“This is to create a ‘gotcha’ moment for senators and candidates that are running in 2016,” Mr. Cornyn said. “I’m astonished by the proposition…that you can be on a secret watch list by the federal government just by virtue of this secret listing from an individual on a government watch list, you can be denied some of your core constitutional rights without any necessity of the government establishing probable cause or producing any evidence that would justify the denial of a core constitutional right.”

Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, countered that the vast majority of people on the terror watch list do belong there and shouldn’t have guns, and that there are remedies for people who think they’re wrongly on the list.

“We’re worried about the rights of the people on the terrorist watch list more than we are about taking steps to protect this country,” Mr. Murphy said. “Because what we’re talking about is a temporary inconvenience. If somebody is on this watch list who shouldn’t be, and it is a very small number, then they have, through this legislation, a means to get off that list.”

Both in his weekly address on Saturday and in his nationally-televised address to the nation Sunday, Mr. Obama had called on Congress to act on the issue.

“What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? This is a matter of national security,” Mr. Obama said Sunday.

House Democrats have also announced plans to try to force a vote on a version of the measure in that chamber. But the effort was blocked in the House last week as well.

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