GOP Senator Susan Collins Will Back Expanded Background Checks [Report]

As the gun control debate reconvenes in the Senate on Monday, a report suggests that one GOP senator will vote in favor of background check expansion.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine will vote in favor of expanded background checks in the upcoming battle for tighter gun control legislation, reports NBC.

Collins sat down with NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell, saying that she plans on supporting the bipartisan bill proposed by Senators Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin this week.

The bill simply calls for an expansion to the background check system with some exceptions. Collins is the third Republican senator to voice support for the bill, behind Toomey himself and Senator Mark Kirk.

According to a press release on Wednesday from Manchin’s office, the bill is designed to prevent convicted criminals and the mentally ill from getting their hands on guns, while leaving the Second Amendment largely untouched. Background checks will be expanded to gun shows and online gun sales, which exist as loopholes in the current system.

A “fact sheet” for the bill has been posted on Manchin’s website, and he has said in several interviews that anyone with questions about the bill can read it in its entirety there (we have also posted it below).

Collins herself recently met with families of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting victims. On Saturday, Politico published featured comments from the Senator to Newtown visitors. According to Mike Allen, the Newtown families were so late to the meeting that it ate into Collins’ dinner plans with President Obama:

“The Newtown families were VERY late for their meeting with me. I felt a moral obligation to talk with them. I kept the president of the United States waiting. I mean, how rude is that of me? But I explained to him later that the reason I was 45 minutes late for his dinner was the Newtown families were late — very late — getting to my office, and I just could not leave without talking to them. And he was very gracious about it.”

Do you think that the Toomey/Manchin background checks bill will see increased bipartisan support in the Senate?

Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act