WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement after voting in support of the Collins amendment to prevent terrorists from buying guns.
The amendment survived a procedural vote, 52-46, and remains eligible for a final vote.
“At the end of the day this really is about counter-terrorism, not gun control. We are a nation at war against radical Islam and under increasing threats both here at home and abroad.
“President Obama’s foreign policy has been a failure and helped give rise to the very threats we face. I have long argued we must do more to counter the threat abroad. However, it is also important we take steps here at home to protect ourselves as well. It’s why I supported the Collins Amendment.
“Simply put -- I don’t want anyone who is too dangerous to fly on a plane to buy a gun.
“To be on these lists today means there is reasonable suspicion and credible evidence that the individual in question is involved with or in support of terrorist activities. There are about 109,000 people on these lists and 99% of them are foreign nationals, not U.S. citizens. There are only about 2,700 Americans who could be impacted by this measure.
“I believe in due process and I was insistent the amendment contain provisions to ensure those who should not be on these lists can clear their name. We put the burden of proof on the government to show the individual is a danger and should not be allowed to purchase a gun. If the government fails, the individual’s rights are upheld and the government will pay their legal tab.
“This debate will continue and I will continue to work to find common ground that both protects the rights of law-abiding citizens and prevents terror suspects from purchasing guns. The differences between the competing approaches are narrowing.
“I will continue to strive to be a senator that can bring us together and find common ground in times of great threat.