(WTNH) — Connecticut Senators said terrorist suspects have legally bought guns here in the United States, and that it’s happened thousands of times since 2004.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said that between 2004 and 2014, more than 2,000 suspects on the terror watch list were able to purchase guns legally here in the country, by exploiting a key loophole in the law. He and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said earlier today that this is one loophole that needs to be closed immediately.
They argue that another major threat to public safety is the visa waiver program. Right now, citizens of 40 countries are allowed to travel to the United States directly without first applying for a visa.
Since most of the suspected Paris attackers were European citizens, the senators characterized these two loopholes as much bigger threats to American safety than the 2,000 Syrian refugees currently here, where much of the focus has been this week.
“It just speaks to common sense that those on terrorists watch lists shouldn’t be able to buy guns,” said Murphy. “Shame on us if we can’t find bipartisan common ground to make sure terrorists are on the same list as criminals as those prohibited from buying guns.”
“There are a number of very practical ways that the visa waiver program can be improved,” said Blumenthal. “It’s responsible for 20 million people coming to this country. Far larger than the refugees.”
The Senate will probably take up the legislation after the Thanksgiving holiday.