- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Democratic congressman and leading gun-control advocate said on Tuesday that bills to tighten gun-purchase background checks and ban suspected terrorists from acquiring firearms would pass the House if Republican leaders brought them to the floor.

“If you brought up the ‘no fly, no buy’ legislation, or if you brought up the background check legislation that Peter King and I have co-authored, it would pass in the House of Representatives,” Rep. Mike Thompson, California Democrat, told reporters.

In the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Orlando over the weekend, Democrats in both the House and Senate are renewing a push to pass legislation that would allow the Justice Department to ban people on a government terror watch list from buying a gun.

Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 others in an Orlando nightclub, had been on such a list but was removed and was able to legally purchase firearms before carrying out the attack.

“We believe that most people with common sense would say that saying to somebody if you’re on the no-fly list, then you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra of California, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus.

Many Republicans, meanwhile, have said in the wake of the Orlando attack there needs to be more of a focus on encouraging anti-terrorism efforts. They say such measures deny people’s Second Amendment rights without due process of law, though the House version has been sponsored by GOP Rep. Peter King of New York.

Mr. Thompson said he’s managed to get about 175 Democrats to sign a discharge petition in a bid to force a vote on the no-fly list legislation in the GOP-controlled House — still well short of a 218 majority.

After the House observed a moment of silence on Monday evening to remember the victims of the Orlando attack, some Democrats started chanting “where’s the bill” as they try to force the issue on new gun legislation.

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