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Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Friday that the Senate should vote on a package of gun reform bills this month, including legislation expanding background checks.
“I believe that we do need to have a package of gun safety legislation brought to the floor. I’d like to see it brought to the floor along with the appropriations bills this month. I have conveyed that to Senator McConnell,” Collins told Maine Public Radio in an interview, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The article goes on to state the following:
Collins’s comments come as Congress is set to return to Washington on Monday for the first time since multiple mass shootings in Odessa and El Paso, Texas, as well as Dayton, Ohio.
Though lawmakers have floated several ideas after the shootings, it’s unclear what, if anything, can pass Congress and garner Trump’s signature.
The president’s backing is critical after McConnell said that in order for a bill to get a vote on the Senate floor it had to have Trump’s support.
Collins said she had been in touch with her colleagues and White House officials to “try to shape a package of gun safety bills that I believe could pass the Senate.”
She pointed to three provisions she says should be included in the package, including expanding background checks, passing “red flag” laws and cracking down on so-called “straw purchases,” when an individual buys a gun for someone else.
“I think commercial sales with the exception of sales to family members should require a background check,” Collins said.
Collins is one of two Republicans still in the Senate, along with Pat Toomey (Pa.), who supported legislation from Toomey and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that expanded background checks to all commercial sales.
In addition to background checks, Collins said she would support “red flag” legislation that had “robust due process.” Red flag legislation is meant to allow family members and law enforcement to temporarily block an individual from owning a gun.
She has also introduced legislation with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that would crack down on straw purchases.
“I think that’s a package that could pass, and I would like to see us do it,” Collins said.
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