Speaker Paul Ryan, pictured in Washington in May 2016, says the U.S. House will vote next week on broad legislation that will include a provision aimed at keeping suspected terrorists from obtaining firearms.
VOA News

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives will vote next week on a bill aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists.

A week after Democrats staged a nearly 26-hour sit-in demanding a vote on gun control measures, Speaker Paul Ryan told fellow Republicans of the vote in a conference call Thursday.

Ryan said the House would vote on a broad bill that will include measures to prevent radicalization and recruitment by extremist groups, as well as a provision to stop suspected terrorists from buying guns.

Ryan called it “just common sense” to keep firearms from terrorists, but said it must be done while protecting the right to own guns.

Democrats held their daylong protest on the House floor, demanding a vote on gun control legislation in the wake of the shooting rampage that killed 49 at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The shooter, Omar Mateen, who was killed by authorities during the siege, was an American who pledged allegiance to a leader of the Islamic State extremist group, according to a transcript of his phone calls with officials during the incident.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office said Ryan might well offer National Rifle Association-backed legislation that would put the burden on the government to prove that someone on a terror watch list should not have a gun. Pelosi’s spokesman, Drew Hammill, warned that a vote on an NRA-written bill “just isn’t going to cut it.”

The House next week will also take up a bipartisan bill by Pennsylvania Republican Tim Murphy that seeks to address gun violence by overhauling the mental health system.

Republicans believe terrorism and mental illness, not access to guns, have been leading causes of most mass shootings.


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