Democrats in Congress are using a procedural move to try to force the House to vote on a bill that would prevent individuals on the no-fly list from purchasing a gun.
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) is set to introduce a discharge petition in order to schedule a vote to on gun control.
According to Politico:
This marks the first time in recent memory that House Democratic leadership will attempt to use the discharge petition process to force a gun control vote. The effort faces an incredibly tough path in the House.
Democrats are hoping Republicans will break ranks and support the petition, which would force a vote on a bill to stop individuals on the terrorism watch list from legally buying a gun. Thompson would need 30 Republicans to sign on if every Democrat supports the effort — an uphill battle, given strong GOP opposition to new gun limits.
On Sunday night President Obama addressed the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California that left 14 people dead. Although neither of the terrorists in the attack appeared on the no-fly list, President Obama urged Congress to pass legislation preventing people on the no-fly list from purchasing weapons.
Here at home we have to work together to address the challenge. There are several steps that Congress should take right away. To begin with, Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.
The legislation that Democrats are trying to push through was authored by Rep. Peter King (R-NY). It only has the support of two other Republicans: Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) and Rovert Dold (R-IL).
Gun right groups and many conservatives have been critical of the legislation, arguing that it violates due process rights since the individuals on the list haven’t been convicted of any crime.
The no-fly list is known for containing the names of people who shouldn’t be on it. If an innocent person’s name appears on the list, it can take years for the name to be taken off. For example, some of the people added to the list by mistake have been: Singer Cat Stevens, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Rep. John Lewis, and an 18-month old child.