WASHINGTON — While introducing legislation to oppose the Islamic State, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said Wednesday he supports more gun control measures while calling Republicans who take an opposite stance “lunatics.”
“They are all lunatics,” the Ohio Democrat said, when asked about proposals by Republicans.
Many Republicans support eliminating the gun-free zones that mass killers have targeted for their killing sprees.
Brown said he does not support expanding places people, specifically licensed concealed carriers, can carry a gun. He opposes all efforts to expand concealed carry, he said.
Brown’s legislation comes one week after two terrorists who support IS went on a shooting spree in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 and injuring numerous others.
Part of Brown’s proposal with legislation he introduced would stop people on the federal government’s no-fly list from purchasing a gun. Republicans opposed the measure saying there were too many problems with the current list that included people such as the late Sen. Ted Kennedy as well as numerous other people who mistakenly appeared.
The legislation Brown introduced also could increase funding for state and local police agencies for active-shooter response and anti-terrorism programs, something for which he said he expects bipartisan support.
“Our police need the best training possible,” he said.
There would be programs to oppose and prevent people from becoming radicalized and fight home-grown extremism as well as develop specialized anti-terrorism investigation programs, he said.
Brown wants the government to develop a strategy against IS propaganda, which the group has, with great success, used social media to promote.
The legislation proposed tough sanctions on foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate financial transactions with IS. He also wants to improve intelligence sharing with American allies and partners.
The legislation also proposes to create “czar” who would be in charge of the efforts in the United States to defeat IS.
The legislation also would beef up the VISA waiver program that allowed one of the San Bernardino terrorists to get into the country undetected. As another example, he said a French citizen could go to another country train to be a terrorist, return to France and get into the United States without a VISA because our country allows French citizens in with only a passport.
Brown said no legislation or law will prevent every attack or fix every problem but said something has to be done. He said his legislation is a good start.
“You don’t do nothing because solution X would not solve every problem,” he said.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.