April 11, 2013

Collins, King vote to continue gun debate

The proposals pending in the Senate include new rules on gun trafficking and background checks.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Angus King, I-Maine

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Susan Collins, R-Maine

The Associated Press

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Private gun sales are common in Maine, a rural state with a relatively large number of guns and one of the nation's lowest rates of gun violence.

Police and prosecutors in Massachusetts say that Maine's more lax gun policies help feed gun crimes in their state, whose gun laws are among the nation's most stringent.

The Toomey-Manchin compromise would:

• Require background checks for private sales at or outside gun shows.

• Exempt transactions between family members, friends and neighbors.

• Threaten states with financial penalties for failing to report mental health records to the FBI.

• Allow concealed-weapons permit holders to forgo background checks if their permits are less than five years old.

• Allow active-duty military personnel to buy firearms in their home states and where they are stationed.

• Establish a national commission to investigate the causes of mass shootings.

• Explicitly prohibit the creation of a "national registry" of gun owners.

Collins and King have been heavily lobbied by both sides in the gun debate. Collins, a co-sponsor of the measure to create stronger federal prohibitions on gun trafficking, called the background check compromise "very promising" but said she must review the language before endorsing it.

King did not explicitly endorse the deal but described it as "great news."

Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:


On Twitter: @KevinMillerDC


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