AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate has given its first nod to a bill overhauling the state’s concealed handgun permit system by limiting the municipalities that can give out permits.
The Democratic-led Senate endorsed the bill in a 20-13 vote Friday.
Under the bill, only municipalities with a full-time police chief could handle permits. It would also create a confidential centralized database of all permit holders.
The Senate rejected a proposed amendment that would have allowed all Mainers who are not otherwise prohibited to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. The House rejected a similar amendment Thursday.
Supporters of that amendment said it empowers residents to exercise their constitutional right to carry a firearm without restriction. But Democrats said the proposal would undermine the state’s concealed handgun system.