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Most People On The Terrorist Watch List Who Tried To Buy Guns Could've

It's legal for those on the terrorist watch list to buy a gun in the U.S., but over 70 percent of respondents in a Gallup poll think it shouldn't be.
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Most People On The Terrorist Watch List Who Tried To Buy Guns Could've

Last week's mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando has put national gun laws back in the spotlight, and one big question being asked is: Why can people on the terrorist watch list still buy guns?

Officials say the gunman in Sunday's shooting had been investigated in the past for possible terrorist ties. The shooter was armed with a semi-automatic weapon when he killed 49 people at Pulse nightclub on Sunday.

A 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office found that "membership in a terrorist organization does not prohibit a person from possessing firearms or explosives."

later report found that over 90 percent of those on the terrorist watch list who tried to purchase a gun passed background checks.

It's important to point out that the FBI is notified when people on the watch list get background checks for gun purchases. A Florida gun shop actually reported the nightclub shooter for trying to purchase armor and ammo weeks before the Pulse attack, but the FBI said it didn't have enough information to follow up.

There's also no federal law prohibiting individuals on the watch list from having a gun or explosives.

And the American people seem to think such restrictions would be a good idea. A Gallup poll shows 71 percent of people surveyed think that banning gun sales to people on the "no-fly" list could help fight terrorism.

This issue is one of the main causes behind Sen. Chris Murphy's 14-hour filibuster earlier this week, which ended when Republican lawmakers agreed to a gun control vote.

That appears to be happening Monday. Four gun control amendments — two from Democrats and two from Republicans — are scheduled to be voted on, but none are expected to pass.

This video includes clips from C-SPAN and images from Getty Images.