Politics

Rubio: Don’t Keep People On No-Fly List From Buying Guns

CREDIT: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Marco Rubio said Sunday that people on the U.S. government’s No-Fly list should still be able to purchase guns, because the list is full of “everyday Americans” who are on the list by accident.

“The majority of the people on the No-Fly list are often times people that just basically have the same name as somebody else, who doesn’t belong on the No-Fly list,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union. “Former Senator Ted Kennedy once said he was on a no-fly list. There are journalists on the No-Fly list.”

Rubio’s comments were in response to host Jake Tapper referencing a statement by President Obama, who said Saturday that he thought it was “insane” that people who aren’t allowed to board commercial airplanes can purchase guns. Obama is also set to address the nation in the wake of attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, on Sunday night.

“Right now, people on the No-Fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane,” Obama said Saturday. “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.”

Rubio, however, doesn’t agree with the president’s sentiment.

“These are everyday Americans that have nothing to do with terrorism, they wind up on the No-Fly list, there’s no due process or any way to get your name removed from it in a timely fashion, and now they’re having their Second Amendment rights being impeded upon,” he said.

And, when Tapper said he didn’t think it was accurate that a majority of people on the No-Fly list were there by mistake, Rubio said he thought it was a “very significant number.” That’s why, he said, he joined colleagues in the Senate in blocking a bill last week that would have prevented people on the Justice Department’s Terrorist Watch List from buying guns. Every Senate Republican except Sen. Mark Kirk (IL) voted against the bill.

Rubio’s fellow Republican presidential candidate John Kasich, however, disagrees with Senate Republicans.

“Well, on the No-Fly list, we probably could keep them from getting guns and ought to ban them,” Kasich told Tapper on Sunday.

But he also noted that the U.S. needed to be careful not to tip off people on watch lists.

“We want to make sure that we can exploit all the information that we possibly can get. So if all of a sudden you tell everybody who’s on the watch list that you can’t do this or that, then guess what happens?” he said. “Then we lose our ability to track, we lose our ability to gather information, so I think we have to be careful.”