Collins could lead on gun curbs

Making policy change on access to certain types of guns and ammunition would take policy leadership and must include members of both political parties.

Senator Susan Collins has a history suggesting she could become a leader on these issues.

Her high-level involvement on homeland security makes this a good fit for her expertise.

And, in ratings by the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America, Collins has grades of C+ and D-, indicating that she has not toed the gun lobby’s line.

In 2004, Senator Collins supported an assault weapons ban, which did not pass, and told a constituent:

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for extending the assault weapons ban. I appreciate your taking the time to do so. I share your support for extending the ban, and, during consideration of the Gun Liability bill (S. 1805), I voted for an amendment that would have altered the ban’s sunset date from September 13, 2004 to September 13, 2014.

In the aftermath of the Newtown shootings, Collins has been noncommittal about future policy. However, her background and previous positions suggest she could become engaged.

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.