US Sen. Lindsey Graham is part of a bipartisan group pushing for the “Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act of 2016” which would prevent people on the No Fly List from purchasing firearms.
“I own an AR-15,” Graham told reporters Tuesday in a press conference announcing the bill. “And if you’re on this list, it doesn’t bother me you can’t buy one right away.”
The measure would affect roughly 2,700 Americans, a smaller subset than those on terror watch lists covered by two bills the Senate rejected mostly along party lines Monday. It would also allow individuals denied the opportunity to buy firearms a chance to appeal in court.
“We have taken a step in the right direction that makes sense to me,” said Graham.
Members of Congress have taken a closer look at the link between terror suspect lists since the shootings at an Orlando nightclub earlier this month that killed 49 people. The suspect in that case had once been an FBI terror watch list, but was removed in 2014 after the agency closed its investigation of him.
US Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is a primary sponsor. The bill has some Democratic support: Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico appeared with Collins at a press conference unveiling the measure.
Collins maintained that the compromise would cover roughly 109,000 people including Americans who are on two lists. The no-fly list, which prevents them from boarding commercial planes flying to, from or over the United States; and a so-called “selectee list,” which mandates they receive extra scrutiny at airports before flying.