U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) co-introduced legislation Thursday that would result in the FBI being automatically notified when terror suspects attempt to purchase a firearm.
"Terrorists should not be able to buy weapons. And the FBI should be notified if a suspected terrorist buys a weapon," Kirk said in announcing the bill with Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). "This commonsense legislation equips the FBI with a new tool to stop threats on American lives."
The proposal comes in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, which left 49 people dead and another 53 injured.
According to Kirk's office, "The Kirk-Nelson bill would not automatically bar someone previously investigated for possible ties to terrorism from purchasing a firearm. It would, however, require that such individuals be entered into the [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] and that the FBI be notified if any of those individuals attempt to purchase a firearm."
Kirk has also endorsed the "No Fly-No Buy measures" seeking to prevent people on federal terrorist watch lists from buying guns and explosives.
Kirk, who is locked in a tough re-election battle against Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, co-introduced the FBI notification legislation with Nelson the same day Senate Democrats ended a nearly 15-hour filibuster pressing for gun control measures.
Duckworth criticized Kirk for failing to participate in the filibuster.
"In the face of the deadliest mass shooting in American history, silence is unacceptable," Duckworth said in a video posted by her campaign on Youtube.
"While the epidemic of gun violence has touched far too many cities accross our county, here in Illinois, 69 people were shot in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend alone," she added. "For Mark Kirk to continue representing our state while failing to show leadership on this issue is shameful."
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) led the filibuster. In a statement early Thursday, Murphy said "Senate Democrats received a commitment from Republicans to schedule votes" on legislation to prevent people on FBI's terrorist watch list from purchasing guns and to expand gun background checks.