Florida Sen. Nelson wants FBI alerted if terror suspect buys guns

Photos of weapons similar to ones used in Pulse shooting. Image Courtesy: ATF.

(WPEC) -- Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida) is taking steps to help prevent future terror attacks days after the Orlando night club shooting -- the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The Florida Senator filed legislation that would send an alert to the FBI when someone who's under investigation, or has been investigated for possible terror, tries to buy a gun.

Watch the video above to hear from Nelson on Capitol Hill.

The information would go to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Gun shop owners use the NCIS database to run background checks on gun buyers.

"We're not saying: don't sell guns to someone just because they were investigated," Nelson said. "But having a system in place that alerts the FBI if someone they once investigated is suddenly trying to purchase multiple assault weapons is just common sense."

The FBI conducts a background check for every gun purchase made through a federally-licensed dealer using NICS. The purpose of these checks is to screen potential buyers for felony convictions, mental illness, and a history of domestic violence or drug abuse.

"Why shouldn't the FBI be notified that the person who has just purchased the weapon had been on the terrorist watch list? It's common sense. I don't think that even the NRA can object to this," said Nelson.

The move follows the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Investigators say Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people Sunday morning at Pulse, a nightclub in Orlando. His father told CBS12 Tuesday the club did not do enough to protect its patrons.

Mateen, of Fort Pierce, legally purchased at least two of his weapons from the St. Lucie Shooting Center despite being under investigation by the FBI twice for possible terrorist ties.

Nelson said he believes a bill like the one he introduced Wednesday could've prevent the Pulse night club shooting.

"If they had gotten that alert that he had been on the terrorist watch list when he went out and bought those assault weapons that would've prevented this tragedy," Nelson said.

"In this case up here, you're not going to get anything passed if the NRA doesn't give its OK," he continued. "I can't imagine the NRA blocking this legislation because it doesn't block the purchase of the gun. What it's trying to do is head off the terrible purpose for which that assault weapon was purchased."

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