Senator Susan Collins, a Republican representing Maine, introduced a proposition which would deny any person on the federal government’s “no fly” list the ability to buy a firearm.
This proposal has been backed by Democrats and Republicans alike.
It comes in the wake of the shooting at Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando. Omar Mateen, the gunman, legally bought the weapon used in the massacre, despite having previously been on the FBI’s watch list. Her proposal would prohibit those on the “selectee” list from being able to buy a firearm in the United States. Selectees are allowed to fly, but must undergo a comprehensive security screaming prior to boarding an aircraft. Her bill includes terms which allows people who may be wrongly on the list to appeal and be reimbursed their legal fees if it is determined there was no probable cause for them to be banned from flying or from purchasing a firearm.
Collins’ coalition of support includes her fellow Maine Senator Angus King, an independent, and Senators Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat from North Dakota; Kelly Ayotte, Democrat from New Hampshire; Martin Heinrich, Democrat from New Mexico; Jeff Flake, Republican from Arizona; Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina; and Tim Kaine, Democrat from Virginia.
Senator Lindsey Graham is one of the Senate’s most conservative members and has a reputation for fervently defending the 2nd Amendment. He stands behind Collins’ proposal, which he and other members of the Senate see as a common-sense compromise to prevent terrorists or terrorism suspects from acquiring guns.
“This simply makes sense to me. If we can’t pass this, it truly is a broken system up here. We are not fighting a crime, we are fighting a war,” Graham said.
Collins said she is acting for the people, who support her measure to limit those prohibited from flying on commercial airlines from being able to purchase a firearm. The possibility of her proposal coming to a vote in the Senate could occur this week or next.
“We cannot fail the American people.”