Monday | June 20, 2016

Senator Scott Votes to Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Terrorists, Strengthen Mental Health Considerations in Background Checks, and Protect Innocent Americans’ Due Process Rights

Washington - Today in Washington, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) again voted for amendments introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) that would keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and strengthen considerations regarding mental health in regards to firearms background checks.

"As I did last December, today I voted to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists," Senator Scott said. "The amendment I voted for would make our nation safer, while also protecting our due process and Second Amendment rights."

Scott added, "I also voted for a separate amendment that improves our mental health screening in relation to firearm purchases, and provides more resources and tools to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. We know there is a mental health component with many of these gun crimes, and we need to improve our systems to account for that."

The Cornyn Amendment would give the U.S. Attorney General the power to deny firearms to terrorists, while protecting due process rights for Americans who are mistakenly placed on a terrorist watch list. Since their creation after 9/11, multiple law abiding people have been mistakenly placed on the terror watch list and no-fly lists, and it has taken years in court to have their names removed.

The Grassley Amendment addresses flaws in the National Criminal Instant Background Check System, or NCIS. As Senator Grassley notes, it incentivizes and ensures that relevant records from federal agencies and law enforcement are uploaded into the NCIS, and defines and clarifies what it means to be prohibited from possession of a firearm due to mental incompetence or commission to a mental health institution.

Senator Scott voted against two additional amendments, introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) which he believes would take away Second Amendment rights from law abiding Americans. The Feinstein Amendment contains no provisions protecting due process rights for Americans incorrectly placed on terror lists, while the Murphy Amendment attempts to limit the Second Amendment rights of Americans to own firearms.

All four amendments failed to meet the 60-vote threshold for cloture on the floor of the Senate.

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