Had a law that blocks people on federal terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns been in effect, the Orlando attacks might never have happened, Sen. Charles Schumer said on Monday.
The bill would have allowed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to put the attacker, Omar Mateen, on a no-purchase list, Schumer said, which means he wouldn’t have bought the two weapons he used to kill 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday.
Democrats, including Schumer, are renewing their proposal to pass the legislation as early as Wednesday.
The bill, which Republicans blocked last December 45-54, would also prevent people on the federal no-fly list from buying guns, as well as those who previously had guns and are believed to be a terrorist threat, Schumer said in Times Square Monday.
Ninety-one percent of people who commit acts of terrorism legally buy guns in the United States, he added.
Because the legislation directly affects the Orlando attacks, Schumer said he hopes Democrats and Republicans will work together to pass the law.
He also said it was “very concerning” that Mateen was able to buy new weapons in early June even though the FBI had investigated him twice before.
The FBI told Schumer that Mateen was a ‘lone wolf,’ an individual who carried out the attacks independently of ISIS or any other terrorist organization.
The Orlando massacre adds onto the growing list of attacks committed by lone wolves, including the San Bernardino, Calif., attacks in December 2015 and the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013.
“This is the new wave of terrorism,” Sen. Schumer said.