Mr. President, I want to ask if the gentleman from Connecticut will yield the floor for a question without yielding the floor?

First of all, I want to thank my colleague from Connecticut for his work along with the senator from New Jersey, Senator Booker, Senator Blumenthal, and many others in bringing people together today to call for commonsense action to make our communities safer.

I know Senator Manchin was here earlier. He has been such a leader working on the bipartisan bill with Senator Toomey on background checks, and I appreciate their efforts.

I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to all those families of those who were massacred in Orlando. Also, those laying injured, some very seriously, critically injured in hospital beds in Orlando today. My prayers are with the victims and their families. 

I look at this, first of all, and I think -- I look at the senator from Connecticut, and I think of the people from his own state who he knows so well, the parents of those young little children that were killed in Sandy Hook. I remember them coming to my office the day that the background check bill went down, and they came to my office and a number of us were telling them that it was going to go down, that we didn't have enough votes to pass this commonsense measure for background checks. And what I was struck with was that they knew that that particular measure wouldn't have saved their babies, they knew that it wouldn't have done it. But they were there because they had come to the conclusion that this was the best way to save other children, to save other people from dying. 

And as they told me their stories, one of them told me the story of how when her young son, who was autistic, left for school, he looked up at the refrigerator and pointed at the picture of his health aide, and it was someone that was with him all the time. He could barely speak but he loved her, and he pointed up at that picture on the refrigerator in the morning. So as she sat at that firehouse with the other parents waiting and waiting to see if her child were never coming back, and hers was one of them. And when they found that little boy, he was in the arms of that education aide, that health aide that he loved so much. And they were both shot, and they were both killed.

And as she told me that story, I thought, these parents are so courageous that they are coming today to try to advocate for something that they knew--they had come to grips with the fact that they wanted more, that they knew that the background check measure was the best they could do to save lives at that moment. They knew that the backrgound check measure would especially help in cases of domestic violence and suicide, because they knew the statistics that in those staters that had passed such measures, they had seen improvements in the numbers for those kinds of deaths, so they were advocating for it. That was why they were there. And yet, this body didn't have the courage that those parents had to be there that day to pass that measure.

And so here we are today. We are looking at, first of all, a dangerous loophole that allows terrorists to buy firearms here in the United States.

In Minnesota, we have a little experience with this. We were the state that before 9/11--some citizens and flights instructors were able to detect something was wrong with a man that cared about flying, Moussaoui, but not about landing. And so, they turned him in, and no one was ever able to connect the dots. But there he was in a jail in Minnesota. 

I know a little bit about this as a former prosecutor, and I know a little bit about this because of the cases that we have had in our state. We have had dozens of indictments against people that have been trying to go to join Al-Shabaab in Somalia or the terrorist group ISIS. We have just had three convictions in U.S. federal court in just the last week. We know about this in our state and how close it hits to home.

We love our Muslim community in our state. They are a part of a fabric of life. We have the biggest Somali community in the country. But we also know that we need to keep our communities safe, and by working with thtat community, we have been able to bring these kinds of prosecutions.

And so when it's that close, you know that you don't want people who are on the terrorist watch list to get guns. And incredibly, U.S. law does not prevent individuals who are on the terror watch list from purchasing guns. A total of 2,233 people on the watch list tried to buy guns in our country between 2004-2014, and more than 2,000 or 91 percent of them cleared a background check, and that's according to the Government Accountability Office.

I'm a cosponsor of Senator Feinstein's bill, and I joined 25 of my Senate colleagues, including my colleague from Connecticut in offering an amendment that also would have stopped these dangerous individuals from buying firearms and explosives. The background check bill, we know that this helps. And that's why two, at the time, Senator Manchin and Senator Toomey joined together to try to put forward some commonsense legislation. Sadly, sadly, that bill did not pass. And I beleive that we should bring that bill again for a vote.

The third piece of legislation that I think is possible to pass, as I look at what has bipartisan support, what could make the biggest difference is a bill that I--a bipartisan bill with Senator Kirk. There's a House bill as well. And that bill focuses on victims of stalking, victims of domestic violence. As we look at some commonsense measures, we know that not one bill is going to fix all these cases. Not one bill is going to make the difference in every case but combined, they make a major difference.

So my question for the gentleman from Connecticut is about an area where I believe we should be able to find consensus, and that is also in addition to the important closure of the loophole from the terrorist watch list for people buying guns--the background check bill. That is a domestic violence area. Studies have shown more than three women per day lose their lives at the hands of their partners, and more than half killed by their partners are shot with a gun. There's a simple bill that would first of all make sure that dating partners, it's the same rule that applies to those who are married would apply to dating partners. Even the Republican witnesses at our hearing with Senator Leahy and Senator Grassley, they even embraced this portion of the bill, that if people are dating partners as opposed to married, it should make no difference in terms of how you look at this if they've committed an act of domestic violence and their abilitiy to go in and buy a gun. The second piece of this bill is about stalking. If someone has been convicted of a stalking crime, that they shouldn't be able to go in and buy a gun.

When I look at these types of common sense measures, I always think of my uncle Dick. He loved to hunt, and he always would hunt deer. And I have to think to myself, would closing off the loophole in the terrorist watch list hurt my uncle Dick and his deer stand? Not at all. Would putting the background check bill in place across the country, would that hurt my uncle Dick and his deer stand? Not at all. And would closing these loopholes on stalking and on dating partners in any way hurt my uncle Dick and his deer stand because our state loves hunting; we're a big hunting state. So I always have to do a gut check when I look at these bills.

To the senator from Connecticut, and I'd like you to answer that question. Of these commonsense bills that we've been talking about today that could save hundreds, if not thousands of lives, do you think that they would in any way hurt those in our states and every state in this nation that value their guns and value hunting, who are law-abiding citizens?

For a broadcast-quality video excerpt of Klobuchar’s remarks, click here.