From the Morning Memo:

Rep. Chris Collins, R-NY-27, spoke with reporters about a variety of topics during a Wednesday afternoon event in the hamlet of Derby.

At the top of the list was the recent developments in his federal insider trading case. The government unsealed a new indictment this week, replacing the original from last summer.

While a trial is still scheduled for February 2020, prosecutors did drop three securities fraud charges against the congressman and two against his son Cameron, a co-defendant. They said they took the action to “avoid unnecessary pre-trial litigation that could delay the resolution of this matter.”

Collins said he wasn’t expecting the charges to be dropped but was pleased and plans to clear his name whenever the remaining charges are tried in court.

“Certainly living it is a difficult time for me and my family and my friends,” he said. “You just have to compartmentalize it and move on with your life, which I do. I’m as busy as I have ever been, out and about in the district doing my job. I think that’s obvious to everyone. Meanwhile, it does move at a frustratingly slow pace.”

The Republican, who of course still has congressional duties, also discussed how he believes lawmakers should respond to the two mass shootings that happened over the weekend. He said he is a strong supporter of “Red Flag” laws which the president suggested could be part of the solution this week.

“We have to be very careful on the due process piece of that, but also in the name of public safety,” Collins said. “It’s working in different states where if somebody has a genuine concern about an individual law enforcement could step in and temporarily remove guns with the due process that person being able to get those guns back.”

He seemed less supportive of calls for a ban on assault weapons, questioning why Democrats did not reinstitute one in 2009 and 2010 when they controlled both chambers, if they truly felt it was a solution.

“Meaning I think in 2004, when the thing expired, people realized that it’s not the gun, it’s the shooter and that’s not different today than it was then,” Collins said.

One issue the congressman’s office did not want to to discuss Wednesday was the stalled confirmation of former Erie County Central Police Services Commissioner Peter Vito for U.S. Marshal of New York’s Western District.

However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, made it abundantly clear where he stood.

“The Collins nominee is not going to go forward, plain and simple,” Schumer said. “We’ll see what happens after that.”

The senator has issued what’s known as a Blue Slip, blocking the nomination because the Western District Marshal is traditionally from the Rochester area.