Earlier this week, the Senate took up four gun measures, each of which came up short. Soon after, however, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) presented a compromise proposal, which generated a surprising amount of bipartisan support.
And in a surprising twist, this one advanced.
The Senate is voting on bipartisan legislation banning gun sales to people on the no-fly list.Senate Republican leaders agreed to allow a vote on the measure crafted by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., and a handful of colleagues from both parties, though she’s unsure it will get the votes needed to move forward.
The procedural aspect of this gets a little complicated, but today’s vote was a “motion to table,” which means “yea” was a vote to kill Collins’ amendment, while “nay” was a vote to keep it alive. The final tally was 46 to 52, which means the measure survived. [Update: Here’s the roll call. Note, Democratic support was unanimous, and they were joined by seven Republicans.]
The National Rifle Association opposed the proposal, which makes today’s outcome a bit of a surprise: in a Republican-led chamber, the NRA is not accustomed to losing floor votes on gun policy.
Today’s outcome doesn’t mean the Collins amendment passed, but that’s the next step. The fact that it cleared today’s test keeps the measure alive, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who endorsed the amendment, has said he’ll push for further action on Collins’ policy.
As for the details of the measure, Vox had a good overview.
[Collins’ compromise would make it] illegal for anyone on the federal “no-fly list” or “selectee list” (which targets people for extended inspections at airports) to legally purchase a gun. […]The Collins bill allows for an appeals process through the courts, but it’s not clear how long that process would take – or if it would allow Americans to challenge their inclusion on the watch lists to begin with, or simply their inability to buy guns.
“I hope we can pass this,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters on Tuesday. “Let’s put it this way: If we can’t pass this, it truly is a broken system.”
Watch this space.