Susan Collins and the GOP court Trump on guns

Susan Collins has watched countless gun debates stall out over the years. But this time, she says, will be different.

The Maine moderate has long been a lonely voice on guns in the GOP. She’s one of just two Republicans left in the Senate who previously supported a bipartisan background checks bill and the only Republican serving who backed an assault weapons ban. Every time she’s gotten close to winning even modest new gun regulations, the effort collapses due to conservative opposition.

But with President Donald Trump talking up new gun regulations, Collins is increasingly optimistic and has assumed a central role in the burgeoning effort to find a consensus among Republicans. She’s spoken to Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Sen.

Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and White House legislative director Eric Ueland about potential gun safety reforms and plans to talk to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week.

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