But while the gun restrictions proposed by Ms. Collins would target a narrower group of individuals, her measure does not require federal prosecutors to demonstrate “probable cause” of criminal terrorist activity, which is required in an alternative to the Feinstein measure sponsored by Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican.
Democrats say Mr. Cornyn’s measure, which will also be voted on Monday, sets such a high burden of proof that it renders useless the underlying gun restrictions.
Instead, Ms. Collins has proposed an appeals process that would award attorney’s fees to anyone who successfully challenged the government’s effort to prevent the sale of a firearm.
“If you are either on the no-fly list or the selectee list, which is the list where you are subjected to additional screening before you are allowed to board a plane, then you would be prohibited from purchasing a gun,” Ms. Collins said.
She said she agreed that Mr. Cornyn’s measure set a standard too difficult to meet.
“If probable cause is found, then probably law enforcement could arrest you,” she said. “If you have got that, you are going to be arrested, unless they are leaving you out there in order to catch others.”I have not dug around for a copy of the proposed bill, is I am not sure what the basis for an appeal would be. Something lower than "probable cause", apparently, but what? Or, lacking some standard, how could someone ever win a reversal and attorney's fees, other than in a case of outright error (a mispelled name, for example)?