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Schumer: Close Loophole Allowing Possible Terrorists To Buy Guns In US

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for passage of legislation prohibiting individuals on the U.S. terrorist watch list from buying guns.

The New York Democrat noted the arrests this week of three Brooklyn men on charges they conspired to join ISIS in Syria or carry out attacks at home. If they were on the terrorist watch list, the bill Schumer's backing would have prohibited them from buying firearms or explosives.

The watch list prevents individuals from flying on airplanes into and out of the country.

The federal database used to check gun buyers currently prohibits convicted felons and people with certain mental illnesses from buying guns.

"There is a major loophole in the federal law that would make your jaw drop," Schumer told WCBS 880. Astoundingly, under current law, known or suspected terrorists on terrorist watch lists or no-fly lists can legally purchase weapons and explosives anywhere in the United States.

"We're announcing a bipartisan drive to close that giant and dangerous loophole."

Schumer said information from the Government Accountability Office shows individuals on the terrorist watch list cleared background checks 455 times in 486 attempted gun buys in 2013 and 2014.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., are also behind the push for the legislation.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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