Republican Sen. Susan Collins faces backlash for past votes against gun control

Firearms


Susan Collins, a Republican senator from Maine, is under fire for her past votes against gun control measures after a deadly mass shooting in her state.

Worst mass shooting in Maine’s history sparks criticism of Collins(AFP, AP)

The shooting, which occurred at a bowling alley and restaurant in Lewiston on Wednesday, killed 18 people and wounded more than a dozen others. It was the worst mass shooting in Maine’s history.

Collins described the shootings in Lewiston as a “heinous attack” that has claimed the lives of at least 18 Mainers and left numerous others injured.”

“Today is a dark day for the state of Maine.”

Collins also characterized it as the “worst mass shooting” in the state’s history.

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The 70-year-old expressed her condolences to the victims and their families in a statement, and said she received a call from President Joe Biden offering assistance.

“As our state mourns this horrific mass shooting, we appreciate the support we’ve received from across the country, including the call I received from President Biden offering assistance,” she said.

However, many people on social media slammed Collins for her role in blocking stronger gun laws in the Senate.

“You helped make this happen,” one user wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“Vote for sensible gun laws,” another user urged.

#BanAssaultWeaponsNow trend is going viral hour by hour.

According to Vote Smart, a nonpartisan non-profit that tracks candidates’ voting records, Collins has voted against several Senate amendments on gun control in her 26-year career as senator.

In 2013, she voted no on two amendments that would have banned assault weapons and limited high-capacity magazines. In 2009, she voted yes on two amendments that would have allowed loaded guns in national parks and concealed carry of firearms across state lines.

ALSO READ| ‘Easier to buy AR-15 than Sudafed,’ Maine mass shooting reignites gun control debate

The Republican senator from Maine has also received funding and support from the National Rifle Association (NRA), the powerful gun rights lobby group. She had a “B” rating from the NRA as of May 2022, according to the New York Times. She has received $18,000 from the NRA for her campaigns.

Collins was one of 15 Republicans who voted for the 2022 bipartisan gun bill, which was the first major gun legislation passed by Congress in nearly 30 years. The bill expanded background checks for gun buyers under 21 and strengthened laws against gun trafficking, among other provisions.

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