Collins said the debate over gun control flares up whenever firearms are involved in a national tragedy, such as the December 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn.
The Newtown shootings prompted President Barack Obama to prod Congress to adopt stricter gun-control measures — but that bill failed in the Senate, and the issue disappeared from the national agenda.
“This is a fairly common pattern, that we see a national tragedy having to do with shootings happen,” Collins said. “We see renewed attention to gun control. If it doesn’t go anywhere, it just disappears.”
He said Congress is unlikely to approve stricter gun-control laws, mainly because federal lawmakers are divided on the issue. Instead, any new gun regulations are likely to come from state and local government.