Senate Democrats led by Senator Chris Murphy (D) are mounting a filibuster right now to have a bill banning those on the “Terrorist Watchlist” from purchasing firearms debated. We have covered this concept in the past, but the basic argument is simple to understand: Democrats (led by Hillary Clinton) believe that people “suspected by the FBI of terrorist connections” should be prohibited from having firearms. Republicans are understandably wary of any proposal that would restrict the Constitutionally protected rights of American citizens (the right to own a firearm) based on the mere suspicion of a crime, a clear violation of the 5th Amendment.
The Senate is debating a spending bill that Democrats hope to offer gun amendments to, but Murphy said that the Senate should “not proceed with debate on amendments to this bill until we have figured out a way to come together on, at the very least, two simple ideas.”
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“I’m going to remain on this floor until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together on these two measures, that we can get a path forward on addressing this epidemic in a meaningful, bipartisan way,” Murphy continued on the Senate floor on Wednesday, after he first started his filibuster at about 11:20 a.m.
At the same time, Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are exploring whether there is common ground on a deal to prevent suspected terrorists from buying firearms. Currently, the two parties are backing very different approaches to resolving instances where someone feels they’ve been wrongly put on a watch list, and therefore cannot purchase a gun.
At this time there’s no specific proposal on the floor — Democrats are simply filibustering to “fill space” while they come up with a bill. The latest version proposed by the Democrats would permit the Attorney General to name anyone to the “Terrorist Watchlist” at any time for any reason with no means of redress to have one’s self removed.