Following a Senate filibuster staged by Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein’s due process busting terror watch list gun legislation appears doomed despite support by the Obama administration and the Justice Department.
It is uncertain if Feinstein’s bill and competing legislation authored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, will receive the 60 votes required unless a deal is reached.
A vote is scheduled for Monday.
In December, failure to reach a deal doomed anti-Second Amendment legislation in the Senate following the shooting in San Bernardino, California.
Feinstein’s legislation would permit the federal government to deny individuals on a secret terrorist watch list the right to exercise the Second Amendment if authorities decide there is a “reasonable belief that the weapon would be used in connection with terrorism.”
Cornyn said negotiations in the Senate failed because Feinstein “thought due process of law and the Constitution were not necessary.”
Feinstein’s bill would suspend not only the Second Amendment, but also the Fourth and the Sixth.
Cornyn’s version of legislation would keep constitutional protections in place. It would allow the government to put a gun purchase on hold for 72 hours. Prosecutors would then need to convince a judge there was probable cause in order to permanently block a sale.
Democrats argue the 72 hour time period is too short and does not give the Justice Department time to block a sale.
Feinstein’s measure “gives the Justice Department an important additional tool to prevent the sale of guns to suspected terrorists by licensed firearms dealers while ensuring protection of the department’s operational and investigative sensitivities,” said Press Secretary Dana Iverson in a statement.
On Thursday Democrat Senator Joe Manchin went on the Morning Joe show and said “due process is killing us.”
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) June 16, 2016
He said “the firewall we have right now is due process. It’s all due process.”
Manchin proposed a five-year waiting period allowing the government to determine “good behavior” by an individual on the secret terrorist watch list before he or she would be allowed to exercise the Second Amendment.
Manchin and Republican Senator Pat Toomey introduced a gun bill following Sandy Hook. It did not gain the votes required for passage.
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