The Slatest

Obama: It’s “Insane” That People on No-Fly List Can Buy Guns

President Barack Obama speaks on U.S. gun violence at the White House on Dec. 3, 2015.  

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama says the massacre in California this week served as “another tragic reminder that here in America it’s way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun.” In his first weekly address since Wednesday’s San Bernardino attack, the president is renewing efforts to increase gun control. And he’s focusing on a loophole so galling that he characterized as “insane.”

“Right now, people on the no-fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun,” Obama said. “That is insane. If you’re too dangerous to board a plane, you’re too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun. And so I’m calling on Congress to close this loophole, now.”

Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have closed the loophole on Thursday. They also objected to a measure that would increase background checks.

Obama offered his condolences to the families of those killed in Wednesday’s attack and noted investigations are ongoing to figure out what happened. “It is entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror,” Obama said. “And if so, it would underscore a threat we’ve been focused on for years—the danger of people succumbing to violent extremist ideologies.” The president said it is up to “all of us,” including government officials and community leaders to “prevent people from falling victim to these hateful ideologies.”

Obama made his statement a day after he met with Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman injured in a 2011 mass shooting, as part of his efforts to push for increased gun control.