Pelosi Floor Remarks Offering a Privileged Resolution to Close the Terrorist Watchlist Gun Loophole

Dec 11, 2015
Press Release

Contact: Drew Hammill/Evangeline George, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi offered a privileged resolution on the House floor today to demand a vote on Rep. Peter King’s bill, Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, which would close the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist gun loophole.  Below are the Leader’s remarks followed by the text of the resolution:

“It is shocking to the American people that Congress refuses to keep guns out of the hands of those on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist.  The gun violence epidemic is a public health crisis that we have a responsibility to address.  Failing to meet that responsibility brings dishonor on the House of Representatives.

“Public sentiment demands action.  Eighty percent of Americans support legislation to close the outrageous loophole that puts guns in the hands of people, again, on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist.  In the last decade, 90 percent of all those on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist who tried to buy guns in America left the store with their weapons of choice. 

“In the People’s House, we do nothing.  We have not even allowed an up or down vote.  In the just over 1,000 days since Sandy Hook – 1,000 days since Sandy Hook and we have seen over 1,000 mass killings since then, 90,000 gun deaths and 210,000 gun injuries in communities across America. 

“By refusing to act, we disgrace this House, and we dishonor the American people and we erode America’s faith in our democracy.  We have no right to hold moments of silence without days of honor with action to end gun violence.  Give us an up or down vote.  I yield back.”



Raising a question of the privileges of the House.

Whereas the safety of the American people is urgently at stake;

Whereas the integrity of the legislative process has been seriously undermined by the influence of a powerful lobby, causing the House leadership to prevent the American people’s representatives from considering commonsense measures to prevent terrorists from purchasing assault weapons and firearms from any licensed firearms dealer in the United States;

Whereas the first duty of Members of Congress is to protect and defend the American people, and that duty is forsaken by the failure of the House leadership to withstand the influence of a powerful lobby controlled by the gun industry;

Whereas leaders of terrorist organizations have previously urged sympathizers to exploit the United States’ lax gun laws in order to perpetrate domestic terror;

Whereas suspects on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist can go into a gun store anywhere in America and buy dangerous firearms of their choosing legally;

Whereas since 2004, more than 2,000 suspected terrorists have legally purchased weapons in the United States;

Whereas in that time period, more than 90 percent of all suspected terrorists who tried to buy a gun in a store in America walked away with his or her weapon of choice;

Whereas the House leadership ensures the ability of suspected terrorists to continue to buy guns and refuses to schedule legislation to close the terror list loophole;

Whereas since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school nearly 3 years ago, more than 1,000 mass shootings, 90,000 gun deaths, and 210,000 gun injuries have occurred; and

Whereas mass shootings and gun violence are inflicting daily tragedy on communities across America: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That—

(1) a clear and present danger exists to the American people; and

(2) in order to protect the American people and the integrity of the legislative process, upon the adoption of this resolution, the Speaker shall place H.R. 1076, the ‘‘Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act’’, as introduced by Congressman Peter King (Republican–NY), on the calendar for an immediate vote.

# # #