(CNSNews.com) – When asked whether curtailing the Second Amendment rights of Americans will protect this country from radical Islamic terrorism, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) replied: “I don’t know that the two are really linked.”
“Will curtailing the Second Amendment rights of Americans to keep and bear arms help protect this county from radical Islamic terrorism?” CNSNews.com asked Portman Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
Portman responded that using the term “radical Islam” is “probably appropriate,” and that it “is unfortunately a continued threat to us, and not just overseas but here.”
“And the radicalization continues,” he added.
But Portman said that radical Islamic terrorism is “one issue” - and that “another issue is people’s Second Amendment rights.
“Even if we didn’t have radical Islam, people still have the right to keep and bear arms. It’s part of our Constitution. It’s part of our tradition in this country. People should do so responsibly. But I don’t know that the two are really linked,” he told CNSNews.
Portman explained that “I have come out with a position that I don’t think that the people on the terrorist watch list, people who are suspected or who are known terrorists should have access to a gun.”
However, he clarified that “there needs to be some way to ensure you’re properly on the list,” citing the importance of “due process.”
CNSNews asked Portman if the right to keep and bear arms protects Americans from terrorism.
“I think it’s part of the fabric of who we are as a country. I think it’s broader than that,” he responded.
On Monday, Portman voted for two amendments supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that would have made it harder for suspected terrorists, criminals and the mentally ill from buying guns.
The first amendment, which was proposed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), would have strengthened the National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS) by ensuring quicker access to gun purchasers’ records and by mandating that federal agencies alert law enforcement if a suspected terrorist attempts to buy a firearm.
The other amendment, sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) , would have allowed the government to delay a gun sale for 72 hours to allow prosecutors time to go to court to show probable cause to block it.
Both Republican-sponsored amendments failed to pass in the Senate, as did two even more restrictive gun control measures, including a "no fly, no buy" amendment introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and an amendment by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) that would have closed the so-called "gun show loophole".