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Senator Collins Presses Top Army Reserve Official on Investigations into Lewiston Shooting

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Washington, D.C. – At an Appropriations hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for the U.S. National Guard and Army Reserves, U.S. Senator Susan Collins questioned Army Reserve Chief Lieutenant General Jody Daniels about the Army’s investigations into the horrific mass shooting that occurred in Lewiston, Maine on October 25, 2023.  The killer, Robert Card, was a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army Reserve.

During her questions, Senator Collins acknowledged the investigation by the Army Reserve, as well as the follow-on review by the Army Inspector General (IG) that she called for in November 2023 to more fully understand what happened and what could have been done differently to prevent this mass shooting at the local, state, and federal levels.

After the conclusion of the Army IG and Army Reserve’s investigations, and with the benefit of their findings, Senator Collins intends to draft legislation that will require U.S. military services to report to the appropriate authorities when a service member poses a threat to him or herself, or to others, while protecting the Second Amendment rights of our service members.

In May, Senator Collins received commitments from the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Army to work with her on such legislation.

Senator Collins is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Defense.

Below is the full transcript of their exchange.

Senator Collins:

General Daniels, as I know you are aware, last October Maine experienced the worst mass shooting in our history.  Eighteen Mainers were killed, another thirteen were injured in a horrific mass shooting that was carried out by a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve.  I have worked with the Army because I am drafting legislation where I want the Army and all the services to be able to trigger state crisis intervention laws, yellow flag laws, such as we have in Maine as an example, that would result in a judge reviewing the evidence of whether or not a service member poses a threat to him or herself or others. 

And I've waited to introduce that because the Army Reserve has done an extensive investigation and I asked the Army IG to review that.  Well, that was supposed to be finished in January.  We're long ways from January now.  I was told by the Secretary that she expected the Army Reserve’s administrative review to be completed in “a couple more weeks.”   That too has passed by. 

What is the cause of the delay and when can we expect to get this?  I really don't want to introduce a bill without the benefit of the findings and recommendations in this report, which is going to document how many red flags were missed.

General Daniels:

First may I say, very sorry for your loss.  The report from my side has been signed in late May.   We are working on redacting it and making that available in the next couple of weeks.  And I look forward to coming and briefing you and your team on what we have found as a part of that report.

Senator Collins:

Thank you.  I'm going to hold you to that next couple of weeks because I've heard that phrase a number of times.

General Daniels:

Yes ma’am. 

Senator Collins:

And it really is important.  Thank you.