Attorney General Loretta Lynch overruled FBI Director James B. Comey on Thursday, saying the Obama administration does support a ban on firearms sales to those on terrorist watch lists.
Mr. Comey last year had told Congress that the ban could end up alerting suspected terrorists that they are being investigated, and that could “blow” the cases his agents are trying to build.
But his superiors at the Justice Department rejected that, issuing a statement Thursday saying they want to see Congress approve the “no-fly, no-buy” plan Democrats are pursuing.
“The amendment gives the Justice Department an important additional tool to prevent the sale of guns to suspected terrorists by licensed firearms dealers while ensuring protection of the department’s operational and investigative sensitivities,” department spokesman Dena Iverson said in a statement.
In the wake of the weekend’s terror-related shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Democrats have zeroed in on guns, arguing that Omar Mateen’s rampage could have been avoided had Congress enacted a ban on gun sales to those on the government’s watch lists, which are supposed to detail those known or suspected to have ties to terrorism.