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Bipartisan Gun Safety Legislation Negotiated by Senator Collins and 11 Colleagues Advances

Washington, D.C.—Tonight by a vote of 64-34, the Senate voted to begin debate on bipartisan legislation to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country.  The Senate will vote on final passage later this week before sending the measure to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. 


The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act builds on a bipartisan framework proposal supported by Senate leaders from both parties and a bipartisan group of 20 Senators.


Following the vote this evening, Senator Collins issued this statement:


As a member of the group of 12 Senators led by Chris Murphy (D-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX) who negotiated this gun safety legislation, I am pleased that we have reached consensus on a bipartisan package.  Our plan will help prevent gun violence while protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. 


As I strongly advocated for, our bill will fund crisis intervention programs like Maine’s yellow flag law.  Maine’s law has robust due process provisions that allow a court, following an assessment by a medical professional, to determine if a person should temporarily lose possession of firearms because they pose a threat to themselves or others.  Our bill will also help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals by including provisions based on a bill I authored with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to crack down on straw purchasing and firearms trafficking.  Additionally, our bill will strengthen mental health resources, improve school safety, and enhance background checks for people between the ages of 18 and 21 seeking to purchase certain firearms.  These improvements will not infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.  


I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to pass our proposal into law.