Senators roll out bipartisan gun proposal
© Greg Nash/The Hill
Senators on Tuesday rolled out a bipartisan bill aimed at stopping suspected terrorists from buying a gun, as lawmakers try to overcome a stalemate on the issue.
 
 
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The legislation would allow the attorney general to block the sale of a gun if an individual is on the "no-fly" list or the so-called "selectee" list, which requires additional screening at an airport. 
 
Collins said the two lists affect approximately 109,000 people, most of whom are foreigners. 
 
The legislation would allow the decision to be appealed. If an appeal is successful, Collins said Americans and green card holders could get their attorney fees covered. 
 
The measure also includes a "look back" provision that would notify the FBI when someone who was on the broader terror watchlist in the past five years buys a gun. 
 
In addition to Collins, Republican Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteErnst, Fischer to square off for leadership post The Hill's Morning Report: Koch Network re-evaluating midterm strategy amid frustrations with GOP Audit finds US Defense Department wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars MORE (N.H.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePoll: McSally holds 14-point lead in Arizona GOP Senate primary GOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border McCain, Coons: Trump should withdraw controversial refugee nominee MORE (Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Trump officials move to expand non-ObamaCare health plans | 'Zero tolerance' policy stirs fears in health community | New ObamaCare repeal plan McCain, Coons: Trump should withdraw controversial refugee nominee GOP senators drafting legislation to keep immigrant families together MORE (S.C.) appeared at Tuesday's press conference.
 
Democratic Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineKoch brothers group won't back Stewart in Virginia Kaine shares photos of child detention facility: ‘The real Trump Hotel’ GOP senator: Family separation policy 'inconsistent' with American values MORE (Va.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonFlorida lawmakers blocked from entering facility holding migrant children Transportation Department watchdog to examine airplane cabin evacuation standards Hillicon Valley: Supreme Court takes up Apple case | Senate votes to block ZTE deal | Officials testify on Clinton probe report | Russia's threat to undersea cables | Trump tells Pentagon to create 'space force' | FCC begins T-Mobile, Sprint deal review MORE (Fla.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOvernight Energy: DNC to reject fossil fuel donations | Regulators see no security risk in coal plant closures | Senate committee rejects Trump EPA, Interior budgets Energy commission sees no national security risk from coal plant closures The Hill's Morning Report — Trump: `A very great moment in the history of the world’ MORE (N.M.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPoll: GOP challenger narrowly leads Heitkamp in North Dakota Trump plan to claw back billion in spending in peril Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families MORE (N.D.) and Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingHeckler yells ‘Mr. President, f--- you’ as Trump arrives at Capitol Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families Hillicon Valley: Judge approves AT&T-Time Warner deal in blow to DOJ | Dems renew push to secure state voting systems | Seattle reverses course on tax after Amazon backlash | Trump, senators headed for cyber clash | More Tesla layoffs MORE (Maine), who caucuses with Democrats, also appeared in support of the bill. 
 
The legislation is expected to get a vote, but Collins will need 60 supporters for the provision to through the Senate. Democrats say about 20 GOP senators would need to back the bill to get it past the threshold.
 
Collins said a vote on the bill could happen this week or next week, depending on the floor schedule.
 
Heitkamp said they still needed to gauge support among the Democratic caucus, but that she believes Democratic senators "are ready to get something done. They're ready to move the ball forward." 
 
Kaine urged Democrats to support it, arguing it would allow them to keep pushing for stronger background check laws. 
 
"I'm sick of the shootings. I'm sick of the vigils. ... I'm sick of the claims that we'll do something about it. I'm sick of the partisan rhetoric," he told reporters. 
 
But senators in both parties have largely stayed on the fence about Collins's proposal. 
 
 
Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate DHS bill includes .6 billion for ‘fencing’ on border Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families Trump signs VA reform bill without Democratic co-author MORE (D-Mont.), one of three Democrats who voted against a broad background check measure Monday, said "absolutely I'm interested in it," adding he still needed to read it. 
 
The White House isn't onboard will the Collins bill yet, either. Press secretary Josh Earnest on Tuesday said administration attorneys were looking at the proposal, but it's "too early to say at this point" whether President Obama will support it.
 
Earnest said the administration would support the bill if it "would help our law enforcement officials" and "enhance national security,” but he expressed disappointment that the measure would only "prevent some people” suspected of terrorist ties from purchasing firearms.
 
Collins' proposal comes after the Senate on Monday evening rejected — largely along party lines — two proposals aimed at blocking suspected terrorists from buying a gun. They also voted down two gun-control measures. 
 
 
Reid said Republicans let their actions "be dictated by the National Rifle Association.” 
 
"Here's a little secret for my Republican colleagues. The NRA doesn't care about you. It doesn't care about your constituents. It doesn't care about the constitutional rights of the followers," he added. 
 
McConnell blamed the stalemate on Democrats, calling Cornyn's amendment a "serious proposal ... and Democrats voted against it." 
 
Feinstein's proposal would have allowed the attorney general to block the sale of a gun if there was a "reasonable suspicion" a person had been or would be involved with a terrorist attack. 
 
Cornyn's amendment would have allowed the attorney general to temporarily block the buying of a gun as a court decided whether the sale should be permanently blocked. 
 
Democrats have focused on gun issues ahead of the November election, accusing Republicans of putting loyalty to the NRA ahead of stopping acts of terrorism. 
 
 
"I've talked with everyone in Democratic leadership, I think it's clear that if we can get a compromise that is going to materially increase public safety and keep terrorists from getting guns we're going to vote for it," he added.