Could Congress Have Stopped Omar Mateen From Getting His Guns?

Mateen was under FBI investigation for connections to terrorism two separate times in 2013 and 2014, the agency’s director, James Comey, confirmed on Monday. During that time, the government placed him in the Terrorist Screening Database, more commonly known as the terror watch list. (The no-fly list is a smaller subset of this list that forbids suspected individuals from boarding a commercial plane.) When those inquires ended, the government removed him from the list, the Los Angeles Times reported. Even if the legislation had been enacted, it would not have ensured that the FBI would have flagged Mateen when he went to buy an assault-style rifle and handgun in the days before Sunday’s massacre.

Republicans and the National Rifle Association have argued that the measure short-circuits due process and gives added legal weight to a flawed, sprawling list that once flagged Ted Kennedy as a threat.

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