WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley released the following statement after his amendment received a majority of votes in the Senate, but failed to gain the 60 votes needed for passage.  The vote was 53-47.

“The terrorist attack on innocent people in Orlando represents a great tragedy and an affront to our way of life and very existence as Americans.  Americans have every reason to be upset and even furious over the deadliest attack since the awful events of September 11th.  We should be addressing the real problem of radical Islamic terrorism, but instead the Democrat leadership has taken their eyes off the ball and is trying to turn this tragedy into another debate about guns.  

“The other sides says that no progress is being made on gun crimes.  We could have made important improvements through my amendment which would have improved and enhanced the background check system, approved a major increase in authorized funding for the background check system, and ensured that law enforcement be notified if a person who has been investigated for terrorism over the last five years tries to buy a gun.  The amendment also would have addressed mental health through new definitions and clarifications, provided additional due process protections, required reports to Congress on various issues related to firearms prosecutions, and would have directed any gun walking tactic to be approved by the Justice Department leadership.

“But, unfortunately Senators who are unwilling to support important progress are putting a higher premium on politics.  The Second Amendment right to bear arms is a fundamental right and any legislative action must start and finish with recognition of this fact.”