In ‘watershed moment,’ Senate GOP about to defy NRA by pushing gun control

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In what is shaping up as a year of electoral firsts, the Republican Party is about to defy the NRA by going after guns.

In the wake of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, Senate Republicans are expected to allow a vote on a bipartisan gun control bill that the National Rifle Association and other conservative groups oppose, according to The Hill.

Of course, any time there’s a weak-kneed “centrist” movement afoot, you can be sure Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is involved.

The Collins measure, which is reportedly gaining momentum, would block people on two terrorist watch lists from buying guns.

And the NRA is not pleased.

“Unfortunately, Senator Collins and others are focusing their efforts on unconstitutional proposals that would not have prevented the Orlando terrorist attack. The American people want Congress to stop playing politics and pass policies that will keep them safe from terrorists,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is said to be focused on protecting vulnerable incumbents and keeping control of the chamber in November — he not only promised a vote on the gun control measure, but leadership isn’t whipping against it, The Hill reported.

Instead of taking steps to protect Americans from terrorists, McConnell appears to be willing to infringe on the Second Amendment.

“He will not be dictated to,” one lawmaker said of the NRA’s efforts to lean on McConnell, according to The Hill.

And Senate Democrats are already celebrating, with Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy calling it a “watershed moment.”

“I think you’re seeing in real time the vice grip of the NRA loosening in this place,” Murphy said. “This is a watershed moment whether this gets to the finish line or not. You have Republicans scrambling to try to find a way to remedy their no votes [Monday] night.”

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Tom Tillison

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