- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday said he plans to meet with the National Rifle Association to discuss the issue of banning terror suspects from buying guns.

“I will be meeting with the NRA, who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no-fly list, to buy guns,” Mr. Trump tweeted Wednesday.

Democrats have stepped up a push for such legislation in the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack, while Republicans have warned it could impede on due process and people’s Second Amendment rights.

The Trump campaign said there were no more details immediately available about the meeting.

Chris Cox, who heads up the NRA’s lobbying arm, said they’re “happy” to meet with Mr. Trump on the issue and the group’s position has not changed.

“The NRA believes that terrorists should not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms, period,” Mr. Cox said.

“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,” he said.

If that investigation uncovers evidence of terrorist activity or involvement, the government should be allowed to go to court, block the sale, and arrest the terrorist, he said.

“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,” he said.

Mr. Cox said that’s the same position as the one held by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and a majority of the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Cornyn, the Senate’s No. 2-ranking Republican, introduced legislation last year that provided a path for the government to block such sales, but it would require a period of judicial review first.

Both Mr. Cornyn’s measure and separate “no-fly, no-buy” legislation from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, failed in December to meet the 60-vote threshold needed to break a filibuster, though Mr. Cornyn’s attracted more support.

Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 in the Orlando terrorist attack over the weekend, had been flagged multiple times by the FBI but had been removed from such a watch list.

The issue of gun control has shot to the forefront since the Orlando attack.

Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, launched Wednesday what amounted to a talking filibuster in a bid to draw attention to the effort.

“I’m prepared to stand on this floor and talk about the need for this body to come together on keeping terrorists away from getting guns … for, frankly, as long as I can,” he said. “I know that we can come together on this issue.”

Since Mr. Trump announced his candidacy, the presumptive GOP nominee has taken solidly pro-gun positions when it comes to issues like gun-free zones, and has said the attacks in Orlando and Paris last November could have been mitigate if people had guns to fight back.

But he’s also appeared open in the past to banning people on such lists from buying weapons.

“If somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and if we know it’s an enemy of state, I would keep [them] away, absolutely,” Mr. Trump said on ABC’s “This Week” in November, though he also said at the time that was already covered.

“If people are on a watch list or people are sick, you have already — this is already covered in the legislation that we already have. … It’s already fully covered,” he said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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