Marco Rubio introducing bill to stop gun purchases by suspected terrorists

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is introducing another bill aimed at preventing suspected terrorists from buying weapons, this time with a 10-year look-back provision on anyone who had previously been investigated.

The bill, dubbed the Terror Intelligence Improvement Act, would require federal agencies to coordinate efforts so anyone investigated for terrorism by any federal agency in the past decade would be flagged if he or she tries to buy a gun or explosive. There would be a three-day delay on that purchase while federal authorities determine whether to go to court to seek a permanent injunction against the purchase.

Rubio, the Florida Republican running for re-election against Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, said the effort was a response to the June 12 shooting massacre at Orlando’s popular gay nightclub, Pulse. Murphy dismissed Rubio’s new bill Thursday as “opportunistic.”

On that morning ISIS-pledging, gay-hating Omar Mateen shot up the club, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others. He had previously been investigated by the FBI for possible terrorist links, and bought his weapons only a few days before the massacre.

“After the Orlando terrorist attack, I met with Fred and Maria Wright, who shared with me the story of their son Jerry and the unimaginable pain they carry after losing him that night,” Rubio stated in a news release issued by his Senate office. “The Wrights made a simple request: that we improve our laws, so it is more difficult for evil people to get ahold of guns. I told them I would continue working toward consensus on commonsense measures that would help ensure criminals, terrorists and others seeking to take innocent lives are not able to acquire firearms.”

The bill has not yet been assigned a number.

“Today, I’m taking another step toward fulfilling my promise to the Wright family, by introducing legislation that builds on some of the best ideas that have been proposed, and improves them in ways that I hope will make a bipartisan solution more likely,” Rubio continued. “This bill would achieve everyone’s goal of making it harder for suspected terrorists to buy guns, and do so without violating the due process and Second Amendment rights of innocent, law-abiding Americans.”

Numerous gun bills introduced by Republicans and Democrats since June 12 all have died amid partisan disagreement, with Rubio siding on Republican-backed bills and Murphy siding on Democratic bills.

“Floridians won’t be fooled by Marco Rubio’s transparent attempt to paper over his relentless opposition to legislation that prevents gun violence,” Murphy stated in a release issued by his campaign, responding to Rubio’s release. “After the tragedy in Orlando, Rubio used the deaths of 49 innocent Floridians to run for re-election while voting against every bill that would have helped keep our families safe. He even voted against a bipartisan measure, introduced by a Republican, to prevent people on the No Fly List from purchasing guns.

“For Marco Rubio to introduce this bill now is an embarrassment,” Murphy continued. “Floridians deserve better than Marco Rubio’s callous political opportunism as he continues to stand side by side with the gun lobby instead of keeping Floridians safe.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


9 comments

  • Diamondback

    September 15, 2016 at 10:39 am

    And, this is just one more reason Rubio will never get my vote.

    • Lee Cruse

      September 16, 2016 at 12:45 am

      Absolutely, he does not understand the issues.

  • Mark Rube

    September 15, 2016 at 11:16 am

    If I can bring a 170 pound Latino over the border without much aggravation, I can bring in a case of guns, and a case of ammo just as easily.

    Do these politicians think before they open their mouths?

  • Barry Hirsh

    September 15, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Rubio’s bill mandates due process protections, Murphy. Does YOURS?

  • Joe Kitt

    September 15, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    You can’t fix violent, murderous radical Islamic terrorism with another new anti-gun law.

  • Patrick Sperry

    September 15, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Okay Senator, just remember what the Tory’s called our Founding Patriots… Getting a law changed after it has been passed is all but impossible. So frikn’ what if the NRA supports him. They also supported ex post facto law, and the lifetime taking of rights for non-felony’s… And yes, I am a Life Member of the NRA and GoA.

  • Rob

    September 16, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Rights are not privileges. Rights are rights, and they come into play most for those who are arbitrarily determined “shouldn’t” have them. Like nazis have the right to spew their hate under the First Amendment, terrorists have the right to keep and bear arms. Rights are rights.

  • Cabezon

    September 16, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Yeah well welcome to Florida. Rubio, freaking rubio. Ugh.

  • ExNuke

    September 16, 2016 at 9:23 am

    For Rubio or Murphy either one to support violating the Constitutional Rights of someone placed on any one of a dozen poorly maintained and secret lists is an attempt to Violate Civil Rights Under Color of Law. Gathering support for such a bill is Conspirisy to Violate Civil Rights Under Color of Law, both are Federal Felonies.

Comments are closed.


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