AUGUSTA — The Maine House voted 84-55 today in support of a bill that would allow state workers to store concealed weapons in a locked vehicle on state property.

The bill, LD 1603, expands to state workers rights granted last year to workers in the private sector.

During debate in the House, Rep. David Burns, R-Whiting, said the bill reaffirms the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

“I don’t give up those constitutional rights because I’m a state employee and I shouldn’t be asked to,” he said.

But opponents said it’s unnecessary to expand gun rights, and many wanted to repeal the law passed last year.

“We’re taking a reckless step to allow firearms in vehicles,” said Rep. Bruce MacDonald, D-Boothbay. “If a thief wants to get into your car, they can do it easily.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration and will face more House votes.

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