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Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Susan Collins spoke from the Senate floor this afternoon to urge her colleagues to support the Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act. Senator Collins introduced this legislation today with Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and eight other bipartisan Senators to prevent individuals who are on the No Fly List or the Selectee List from purchasing firearms while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. The bill was cosponsored by Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Angus King (I-ME), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
“Our bipartisan bill is based on one simple principle: if you are considered to be too dangerous to fly on an airplane, you should not be able to buy a firearm,” said Senator Collins from the Senate floor. “Remarkably, current law does not prohibit a person known or suspected of engaging in terrorism from buying a firearm. This is a common sense reform that protects fully the constitutional right of all law-abiding Americans.”
Senator Collins also called on her colleagues to support other sensible reforms, such as legislation she introduced with Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) to explicitly outlaw straw purchasing. Today, traffickers exploit weaknesses in our laws by targeting individuals who can lawfully purchase guns, which are then used to commit crimes once they are transferred to the criminal who would be unable to pass the background check. Traffickers are increasingly turning to drug addicts with clean criminal records to exchange guns for drugs.
“Another step we can take right now is to pass legislation I introduced with Senator Leahy to explicitly outlaw straw purchasing,” Senator Collins continued. “Straw purchasing is intended to achieve one result: to put a gun in the hands of a criminal who cannot legally obtain one. Our bill, the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act, would provide law enforcement with an effective tool