Heinrich Introduces Bipartisan Proposal To Keep Guns From Terrorists

The “No Fly, No Buy” legislation would prohibit known or suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing the Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act, a proposal to prevent individuals who are on the No Fly List from purchasing firearms. The legislation, led by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), is also cosponsored by Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Angus King (I-ME), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

“It is clear that we have an epidemic of gun violence in this country that has touched far too many lives. It's time to start putting progress in front of politics,” said Senator Heinrich. “If our government has determined that an individual is on a terrorist watch list and is too dangerous to fly on an airplane, that person should not be able to purchase a gun. This is commonsense step that Congress can take right now to keep firearms out of the hands of those that would turn them against our communities. I’m proud to join my colleagues in taking bipartisan action to close this glaring loophole.”

Specifically, the Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act would:

  • Give the Attorney General the authority to deny firearms sales to individuals who appear on the No Fly List or the Selectee List.

  • Alert the FBI and local law enforcement of any attempted gun purchase by an individual who has been on the watch lists in the last five years. 

  • Provide robust, due process procedures to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Any American denied a purchase under this bill would have the opportunity to have his or her case heard before a federal district court judge within 14 days. 

Senator Heinrich helped forge the bipartisan “No Fly, No Buy” legislation last Congress, at which time it received the support of a majority of the U.S. Senate. It was also endorsed by a group of distinguished military and intelligence leaders, including former CIA Directors General Petraeus and General Michael Hayden, along with former special operations commanders General Stanley McChrystal and Admiral Eric Olson.

The No Fly List and Selectee List are the narrowest subsets of all of the government’s terrorism watch lists. These lists include the names of individuals who pose the greatest threat of committing an act of terrorism against aviation, the homeland, or U.S. interests overseas. There are fewer than 3,000 Americans on both lists combined.

A copy of the bill is available here