I just came from a meeting today in the Situation Room in which I got people who we know have been on ISIL Web sites, living here in the United States, U.S. citizens, and we’re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun.Note these comments were made last week, before the Orlando massacre.
This is somebody who is a known ISIL sympathizer. And if he wants to walk in to a gun store or a gun show right now and buy as much — as many weapons and ammo as he can, nothing’s prohibiting him from doing that, even though the FBI knows who that person is.
So, sir, I just have to say, respectfully, that there is a way for us to have commonsense gun laws. There is a way for us to make sure that lawful, responsible gun owners like yourself are able to use them for sporting, hunting, protecting yourself, but the only way we’re going to do that is if we don’t have a situation in which anything that is proposed is viewed as some tyrannical destruction of the Second Amendment. And that’s how the issue too often gets framed.
Law enforcement sources confirmed that Mateen was on the FBI's radar but not necessarily on a watch list. But even appearing on the list wouldn't have necessarily prevented him from obtaining weapons."Being on the watch list is not in itself disqualifying, under law. The disqualifying elements of the investigation may be classified," ABC News consultant and former acting Homeland Security undersecretary John Cohen said.According to Florida law, there is a mandatory three-day waiting period for handgun purchases, but no permit, registration or licensing is needed to buy or own rifles, shotguns or handguns. A permit is needed, however, to carry a handgun.