Guns Now an Issue in Florida Senate Race

Murphy criticizes Rubio's gun bill inspired by Pulse nightclub massacre

Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy will have to do without the help of the Senate Majority PAC in the remaining weeks of his race against Sen. Marco Rubio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy will have to do without the help of the Senate Majority PAC in the remaining weeks of his race against Sen. Marco Rubio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted September 16, 2016 at 9:19am

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and his Democratic opponent Rep. Patrick Murphy are sparring about their positions on gun law reform in the wake of the Orlando nightclub massacre.

Rubio famously jumped into the race, largely citing the shootings at the Pulse nightclub in June, after saying he would not run for re-election.  

Rubio introduced legislation this week that, among other provisions, would require the FBI director and Joint Terrorism Task Force to be notified if the subject of a federal terrorism investigation in the last 10 years tries to obtain a firearm. In addition, the U.S. attorney general can delay the transfer for up to three days and file a petition to stop it.

“This bill would achieve everyone’s goal of making it harder for suspected terrorists to buy guns,” Rubio said in a statement. “And do so without violating the due process and Second Amendment rights of innocent, law-abiding Americans.”

Murphy’s campaign called the bill a “transparent attempt to paper over relentless opposition to legislation that prevents gun violence.”

Murphy had earlier this week used his endorsement from a LGBT gun reform group formed after the Pulse shootings to contrast his and Rubio’s records on guns.

Rubio’s campaign was endorsed by the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund in July and he has an A+ grade from the organization for his record on the issue.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a leading gun-reform Democrat who is not related to the Florida congressman, criticized Rubio’s bill.