Sen. Chuck Schumer vowed on Sunday to reintroduce a bill that would ban potential terrorists from accessing legal guns.
The lawmaker stood in front of a flank of armed counterterrorism NYPD officers in Manhattan's Bryant Park holding heavy arms.
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"If you are on a terrorist watch list right now in America," Schumer said, "you can purchase a gun, no questions asked."
Congress failed to pass legislation that would stop any suspects on the FBI's terror watch list from purchasing legal guns last week.
Schumer told reporters that last week's attack by possibly radicalized Muslim Americans at a health center in San Bernardino could bring about a different result. The last bill lost by five votes.
"The vote to close the terror gap should have passed then, but hopefully we can get it to pass now," Schumer said.
Neither of the deadly shooting suspects Syed Farook or Tashfeen Malik appear to have been on a watch list.
Alongside the senator and officers from the NYPD's Hercules Unit, Deputy Police Commissioner John Miller bemoaned that a suspect on the watch list could be denied a flight at an airport counter and still legally purchase a weapon at a gun store counter.
The idea is "somewhat irksome to say the least," he said, echoing statements made previously by NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.
"It is time to move these laws and statutes towards common sense," Miller said.