Maine Republican Susan Collins and a bipartisan group of senators have introduced a compromise bill that would authorize the Justice Department to deny gun sales to individuals on two terror watch lists; while the proposal’s chances of passage are still unknown, it’s the first congressional response to the Orlando attack that has had the backing of figures from both parties. (Four other gun-control bills failed along party lines in the Senate earlier this week.)
The bill—technically an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act—would apply restrictions to individuals on the no-fly and “selectee” lists, a narrower group than would have been covered by a failed amendment proposed by Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The proposal attempts to address concerns about Constitutional-rights issues related to the watch lists by including “a process for Americans and green card holders to appeal a denial in U.S. Court of Appeals and to recover their reasonable attorneys fees if they prevail.”
Although the National Rifle Association has criticized Collins’ amendment, three Republicans joined her at a press conference announcing the plan and Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey also says he’ll support it. Sixteen GOP senators and every Democrat would have to vote for the amendment in order to “invoke cloture” and allow its passage, after which it would be considered by the House of Representatives (whose Republican members tend to be even more hard-line than those in the Senate).