Politics

Susan Collins: Manchin-Toomey Bill Strengthens System 'Without In Any Way Infringing' On 2nd Amendment

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) affirmed Sunday that she will support the bipartisan background checks bill presented by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

Collins released a statement outlining the reasons for her backing, headed by the fact that the bill preserves the constitutional right to bear arms.

The plan would "strengthen the background check system without in any way infringing on Second Amendment rights," Collins wrote, according to the Associated Press.

As of Sunday afternoon, Collins was the second Republican to openly express support for the measure. When the bill was unveiled last Wednesday, Toomey said Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) was on board. In an appearance on CNN's "State of The Union," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also expressed positives, saying he is "very favorably disposed" to the Toomey-Manchin plan.

"I appreciate their work," McCain said. "And the American people want to do what we can to prevent these tragedies. And there's a lot more that needs to be done, particularly in the area of mental health."

Joining Collins in support of the measure on Sunday was the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a gun-rights group holding 650,000 members. The Washington Post reports that the organization emailed its supporters the news in the morning, with a representative telling the paper they "believe it is the right thing to do."

Entitled The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act, the Manchin-Toomey bill calls for measures ranging from preventing gun access for criminals and the mentally ill, to expanding existing background checks to gun shows and online sales.

For full text of the bill, click here.

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