Cornyn Introduces Legislation to Stop Terrorists from Buying Guns, Protect Second Amendment

In: All News   Posted 06/16/2016

‘It would not only stop terrorists from getting guns, but it would take them off the streets, and it would do so in a way that's consistent with our Constitution.’

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) spoke on the Senate floor about legislation he has introduced to prevent terrorists from purchasing firearms and provide law enforcement more tools to prevent future attacks. Excerpts of his remarks and background on the Securing Our Homeland from Radical Islamists and Enhancing Law Enforcement Detection Act, or SHIELD Act, are below. Video of his remarks can be found here.

“Today I'm introducing an amendment that I believe will offer a solution. I believe, if enacted beforehand, it may have provided the law enforcement agencies, like the FBI, the tools they needed in order to identify somebody like the Orlando shooter beforehand and to take them off the streets.”

“It would not only stop terrorists from getting guns, but it would take them off the streets, and it would do so in a way that's consistent with our Constitution.”

“Every single Senator wants to deny terrorists access to guns they use to harm innocent civilians, but there's a right way to do things and a wrong way.”

“My legislation actually does what we need to do to give law enforcement first the notice that this individual is trying to buy a weapon, and then the opportunity to take them off the streets and deny them access to a firearm.”

“We need a robust response to protect American citizens but one that doesn't infringe on constitutional rights.”

“This is a similar proposal to one that I offered back in December that garnered bipartisan support.”

“It's a straightforward plan that reflects input from all sides.”

“I think it's pretty reasonable, and it's a good starting point if we're trying to address the real threat of Islamic extremism rearing its ugly head here at home.”


  • Under the SHIELD Act, if an individual who (1) is a known or suspected terrorist, or (2) has been the appropriate subject of a terrorism investigation within the last five years, attempts to purchase a weapon:
  • The Attorney General or designee has the authority to delay the transfer of a weapon for up to three (3) business days while relevant law enforcement agencies conduct an investigation.
  • Federal, state, and local law enforcement officials are notified immediately so they can monitor the situation.
  • A U.S. Attorney could permanently block the transfer upon a showing of probable cause before a judge that the individual is involved in terrorism.
  • Further, the Attorney General or designee then has the authority to immediately take the prospective purchaser into custody if a judge determines there is probable cause that the individual is involved.