Maine Senator Collins rationalizations for her yes vote on S 649


PDA






MacTech
April 26, 2013, 01:22 PM
Just received this form letter response from Senator Collins, time to pick it apart...




April 25, 2013

Thank you for contacting me in opposition to gun legislation recently considered by the Senate. I appreciate your comments in defense of our constitutional right to bear arms. Unfortunately, Mainers have recently been flooded by advertisements and mailings from out-of-state special interest groups that not only include distortions, but also blatant misrepresentations about my position. In an effort to set the record straight, I have attached a fact sheet that I hope will be helpful.

I grew up in northern Maine, where responsible gun ownership is part of the heritage of many families. Throughout my Senate service, I have worked to uphold this heritage, and have opposed legislation that would infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. I am strongly opposed to a national gun registry and national buyback programs. As you are no doubt aware, Maine has one of the highest rates of gun ownership, yet the lowest rate of violent crime in the country.

I supported a bipartisan agreement between Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) that would have improved the background check system to help prevent convicted criminals and those with dangerous mental illnesses from purchasing guns without infringing on law-abiding gun owners' Second Amendment rights. The Manchin-Toomey proposal represented a vast improvement over the provisions authored by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) currently in the bill. Senator Schumer's language, which I opposed, would have required a father giving a gun to his daughter, or a brother selling a hunting rifle to his brother, to undergo a background check, which I found to be onerous and completely unnecessary. The Manchin-Toomey compromise took a much more common sense approach by requiring background checks only for commercial transactions and exempts family gifts and transfers. To improve the quality and completeness of the data in the NICS, their bill would have mandated improvements that would require states and the federal government to send all relevant records on criminals and the people who are dangerously mentally ill through state plans developed in conjunction with the Department of Justice. It was critical to my support that the Manchin-Toomey bill explicitly banned the federal government from creating a national firearms registry and imposed serious criminal penalties on any person who misused or illegally retained firearms records.

The Manchin-Toomey amendment would have created a National Commission on Mass Violence, a proposal I have long endorsed, that would convene experts to study all aspects of these violent attacks, including the exposure to excessive violence in the media and the lack of mental health services.

As a nation, we must examine the fact that serious mental illness is a factor in many violent crimes. As was the case in the Connecticut, Colorado, and Arizona shootings, mental illness is a common factor in many of these tragedies. We should evaluate how we as a society can better identify and care for troubled individuals who pose a threat to themselves and others. That is why I am an original cosponsor of the Excellence in Mental Health Act, a bipartisan bill that would expand access to mental health care for individuals through our nation's Community Mental Health Centers. It would also improve the quality of mental health care by holding these centers accountable to higher standards.

I am also the coauthor of anti-crime legislation that would strengthen current laws that prohibit an individual from deliberately purchasing a firearm on behalf of another who is already barred from buying a gun. This bill would help keep guns out of the hands of criminals. This conduct, called "straw purchasing," is already a felony. Yet, under current law, it amounts to little more than a paperwork violation. The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act would give law enforcement the tools they need to investigate and prosecute these crimes more effectively, while protecting legitimate sales. The bill does not in any way change who is prohibited from owning a gun. Straw purchasing and trafficking serve one purpose: to put guns in the hands of a criminal. We worked with law enforcement officials, the NRA, and licensed gun dealers in drafting this bill.

I also believe that Congress should examine school safety. I am the lead cosponsor of the School and Campus Safety Enhancements Act, which would provide matching grants to help cover the cost of stronger security measures in schools.

Thank you again for taking time to contact me. As Congress continues to address violence in our schools and communities, I will continue to work to ensure that the Second Amendment rights of our nation's law-abiding citizens are protected.


Sincerely,


Susan M. Collins
United States Senator

Fact Check: Senator Collins
and Your Second Amendment Rights

There is a significant amount of false information circulating regarding Senator Collins’s position as it relates to the Second Amendment. Senator Collins believes that responsible gun ownership is part of the heritage of many families in Maine, and that it should stay that way. In fact, Maine has one of the highest rates of gun ownership yet the lowest rate of violent crime in the country. While our country should examine what can be done to help prevent gun violence, denying the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens won't change the behavior of those intent on using firearms for criminal purposes.

The National Association for Gun Rights, an out-of-state organization, has flooded Maine with false advertisements and blatant lies about Senator Collins, her legislation to support law enforcement by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, and her positions as they relate to the Second Amendment.

Let’s set the record straight:

Accusation:
Senator Collins has teamed up with liberal Democrats to pass Obama’s gun control schemes.
FALSE

• Senator Collins is opposed to a federal registry of gun owners.

• Senator Collins is opposed to the broad sweeping ban on “military style” “assault weapons” proposed by Sen. Feinstein. The bill would negatively affect hunters and sportsmen across Maine.

• Senator Collins supports keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and those individuals who have been adjudicated as having a serious mental illness.

• Senator Collins was a cosponsor and strong supporter of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act. This act became law on July 22, 2004, and allows qualified active and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons.

• Senator Collins is also the lead Republican cosponsor of S. 146, the School Safety Enhancement Act. This legislation would provide matching grants to help cover the cost of security measures in schools including installing metal detectors, training for students, teachers, and administrators, and coordinating with local law enforcement.

Accusation:
Senator Collins wants to make you a criminal if you sell a gun without federal approval.
FALSE

• Senator Collins is the lead cosponsor on the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013, a bill that would help keep guns out of the hands of criminals without infringing upon the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens. It in no way affects law abiding citizens. The bill is NOT a forced gun registration. In fact, Senator Collins opposes any form of a national gun registry.

• The law protects legitimate sales. It would not penalize legal transactions nor place unnecessary burdens on lawful transactions.

• The bill would punish the straw purchasing of firearms and the trafficking of firearms. Straw purchasing is defined as a legal purchaser knowingly buying a gun for someone who is prohibited from buying one. This is NOT a mom or dad who buys a gift for their son or daughter; this is aimed at an individual buying a firearm and knowingly giving/selling it to a criminal who would fail the background check. Such activity is already a felony; this bill would increase the penalties substantially.

Straw purchasing and trafficking serve one purpose: to put guns in the hands of a criminal.

Accusation:
Under the Leahy-Collins gun trafficking prevention proposal, if you give or sell a gun to any individual, it doesn’t matter if you do or do not know the individual is a prohibited person – you’re going to jail either way.
FALSE

• Under the Leahy-Collins bill you have to KNOW or HAVE REASON TO BELIEVE the person to whom you are transferring a gun, is a prohibited possessor of firearms under CURRENT LAW.

• Who is prohibited from owning a gun? Under the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, certain categories of persons are not eligible to possess a firearm or ammunition. These include: fugitives from justice, illegal aliens, unlawful users of certain drugs, those convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment for more than one year (which generally covers felonies), those who have been convicted of crimes of domestic violence, and those committed to a mental institution or adjudicated by a legal body as severely mentally ill.

• This bill has received bipartisan support in the Senate. Moreover, several gun rights and industry organizations, including the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Smith and Wesson, have expressed support for measures that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and protect the rights of law abiding citizens. The bill is also supported by The Fraternal Order of Police, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the FBI Agents Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the National District Attorneys Association, and the Police Executive Research Forum.

Accusation:
Senator Collins wants to expand the NICS registration system and strip gun rights from more Americans who seek mental health aid.

If you’re prescribed anything at all – or even if you complain of stress to the wrong person – that could be enough for you to lose your Second Amendment rights.
FALSE

• There is nothing in this bill that in any way prohibits an individual from owning or purchasing a gun just because they have sought out treatment from a mental health counselor.

• The person must have been involuntarily committed or found a danger to themselves or others by a court of law.

Serious mental illness is a common factor in many of the recent massacres. Our country’s current mental health system is fragmented and patients with serious mental illness often lack access to quality care. To address this issue, Senator Collins cosponsored the Excellence in Mental Health Act (S.264). This bipartisan bill would expand access to mental health care for individuals through our nation's Community Mental Health Centers and will hold these centers accountable to higher standards.

The Bottom Line:

Senator Collins represents a state where Second Amendment values run deep, and where citizens are guided by common sense and a strong sense of independence. She has approached the current debate over firearms policy with pragmatism over politics. She is working with people on both sides of the aisle on responsible legislation that helps to protect the innocent from violence without placing unconstitutional burdens on law-abiding gun owners.

If you enjoyed reading about "Maine Senator Collins rationalizations for her yes vote on S 649" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
alsaqr
April 27, 2013, 07:21 AM
In 2004 senator Collins voted to extend the "assault weapons" ban.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/assault-weapons-roll.htm

Ryanxia
April 29, 2013, 11:39 AM
I thought she might have actually been on our side at one point but it's clear she has to go.

jon_in_wv
May 7, 2013, 10:44 PM
This conduct, called "straw purchasing," is already a felony. Yet, under current law, it amounts to little more than a paperwork violation.

This statement alone makes her sound stupid. Since when is a "felony" a "little more than a paperwork violation". Does that somehow make the prison time you serve, or being permanently stripped of your second amendment rights better?

mcdonl
May 8, 2013, 08:57 AM
She is blasting the airwaves with two different ad campaigns too... trying to clear her name and put the "rumors" to rest. I wrote her and told her no need to clear anything up. Your voting record said all I need to know at the next election.

jon_in_wv
May 8, 2013, 10:59 AM
• There is nothing in this bill that in any way prohibits an individual from owning or purchasing a gun just because they have sought out treatment from a mental health counselor.

• The person must have been involuntarily committed or found a danger to themselves or others by a court of law.


These are two of the most egregious lies of the Tooney-Mansion Amendment (it wasn't a bill, lie # 40000000) The fact is Mansion-Toomey granted the government access to medical RECORDS, not court orders or adjudications of a mental defect. The one and only reason they would need access to your records is so they could institute a process where THEY could decide who is mentally defective. They would no doubt disqualify millions of people who have sought help for depression, veterans with PTSD, or any other condition they wanted. Then like the VA, they could have some administrator strip you of your rights, calling it "adjudication, then maybe if you are lucky you can appeal to a federal judge to overturn it. Good luck with that. Democrats even universally defeated and amendment to the Toomey-Mansion Abortion that would have pretected Vets and others by defining "adjudication" as an action of the court. Ask your self why they would not want you to have the right to argue on your behalf (due process) before you are stripped of your rights.


[QUOTE]SA 720. Mr. BURR (for himself, Mr. WICKER, Mr. INHOFE, Mr. CRAPO, Mr. RISCH, Mr. COCHRAN, Mr. MORAN, Mr. THUNE, Mr. ROBERTS, Mr. ENZI, and Mr. BOOZMAN) submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 649, to ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

At the end of subtitle A of title I, insert the following:

SEC. 114. CONDITIONS FOR TREATMENT OF CERTAIN PERSONS AS ADJUDICATED MENTALLY INCOMPETENT FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES.

(a) In General.--Chapter 55 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:``5511. Conditions for treatment of certain persons as adjudicated mentally incompetent for certain purposes

``In any case arising out of the administration by the Secretary of laws and benefits under this title, a person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness shall not be considered adjudicated as a mental defective under subsection (d)(4) or (g)(4) of section 922 of title 18 without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.''.

(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 55 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``5511. Conditions for treatment of certain persons as adjudicated mentally incompetent for certain purposes.''.[/Q



"judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.''. The only thing the government would need is a report of the court order, which by the way IS the current law. They DON'T need access to your medical records. It is a disgusting invasion of privacy, would serve to discourage people who need help from seeking it, and would allow them to disarm anyone they decided was "mentally defective". Would you want obama to be able to appoint a single person who can, with the stroke of a pen, strip the rights of millions of people without any due process? Or at least redefining due process into one government officials judgement rather than an action of a court where representation can protect your rights? Not me.

Pilot
May 8, 2013, 11:19 AM
New England seems to breed several RINO's, not that they aren't present in other parts of the country once considered truly American. She is clearly anti 2A, and trying to satisfy both sides of her constituency, just like Toomey.

If you enjoyed reading about "Maine Senator Collins rationalizations for her yes vote on S 649" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!