Congressman Erik Paulsen votes 14th time to let terrorist suspects buy guns


The Eden Prairie Republican may look like a suburban accountant, but when it comes to genuflecting before the gun lobby, his politics are Frank Underwoodesque.

Erik Paulsen (R-Eden Prairie), Minnesota's Most Reprehensible Congressman-in-waiting (TM), Tweeted less than a week ago, "I am committed to ensuring our law enforcement agencies have the resources necessary to protect American lives."

Today, those words ring hollow.

Paulsen, who represents Minneapolis' western suburbs, voted against a measure earlier this week that would surely protect American lives. 

The bipartisan "No Fly, No buy" bill would prohibit gun sales to about 109,000 suspected terrorists who appear on two government lists and are barred from boarding an airplane. It would also mandate notification of federal and local law enforcement if anyone who had been on either of the lists in the past five years attempts to buy a weapon.

It's this very loophole that enabled Orlando nightclub Omar Mateen shooter to obtain his firearms, resulting in the massacre of 50 people. Mateen had reportedly been off and on the terror watch list. 

"No Fly, No Buy" would be one of the very few new restrictions imposed on gun ownership in a generation. On Wednesday, Paulsen voted for the 14th time over a 20-month period to block efforts to bring the safety measure to the House floor. 

Why the congressman plays resolute obstructionist to the bill is anyone's guess. Repeated messages left for his press secretary, Andrew Johnson, went unreturned.

Perhaps an explanation can be gleaned from Paulsen's "A" rating from the National Rifle Association. 

Paulsen has collected nearly $20,000 in campaign contributions from the Second Amendment lobbying juggernaut since 2002.


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