U.S. Senator Susan Collins is suggesting fellow lawmakers in Congress explore federal legislation that mirrors Maine's "Yellow Flag" law following a mass school shooting in Texas. 

“Congress should look at enacting a yellow flag law based on the one we have in Maine, which has due process rights and also involves a medical professional in the decision,” Collins said. 

Collins, a Republican from Maine, was among the first lawmakers from her party to propose legislation to reform gun laws following the shooting in Uvalde that led to the deaths of 19 children and two adults. 

“The brutal attack on school children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas, is a horrific crime. Although we are still waiting for more details, it is hard to believe that someone who would do this was not severely mentally ill,” Collins said in a statement released on Tuesday night. 

Maine’s yellow flag law, which took effect in 2020, was the result of a bipartisan compromise in 2019 to pass gun reform in the state. The law creates a process for police to temporarily take guns away from people who are in danger of hurting themselves or others. However, Maine’s yellow flag law has a provision which requires a medical practitioner to sign off on the request. 

Since the legislation passed, some law enforcement officials in Maine have had problems trying to utilize the yellow flag law because they couldn’t locate a medical practitioner willing to do the evaluation.

In 2021, Gov. Janet Mills acknowledged those concerns. At the time she said, “The administration is hopeful that the Maine Hospital Association will work with law enforcement and others to fully implement the law, and we will continue to work with them to that end.”

Sen. Angus King, a Democrat, reacted to Tuesday’s shooting in Texas on social media. He tweeted, “The horrific, senseless shooting at Robb Elementary School shatters hearts across the nation, as we all grieve for the victims and their families. This violence does not have to continue. We can, and must, do more to protect our communities.”

Rep. Chellie Pingree shared her reaction on social media on Wednesday morning: “@HouseDemocrats passed background checks 440 days ago, but congressional Republicans have kept this commonsense bill from the President’s desk. Enough is enough.”

"(Tuesday's) shooting in Texas is heartbreaking. It’s incomprehensible that anyone would do something like this, but to do it to children is truly a special kind of sickness, one I can only describe as purely evil," Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat and Maine’s second representative in the House, said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “In the days ahead, as more information about this shooting becomes clear, I will be talking with my colleagues and with my constituents about what could have been done to stop it and what realistic policies could be considered to help prevent another senseless act of violence like this from happening again in the future.”