AUGUSTA — Maine’s Democratic-controlled Legislature has rejected a bill that would have banned BB guns and non-firing replica firearms in schools.

The House accepted the majority recommendation of the Education Committee on Wednesday that the bill not pass. The Senate took the same action earlier this week.

Supporters say officers could easily mistake the realistic-looking guns for the real thing, which could lead to a tragedy.

But critics said creating a new crime isn’t the answer and would unnecessarily funnel young people from schools to jails.

The bill was introduced by Democratic Sen. Dawn Hill after an officer found a BB gun that looked like a real weapon in a student’s car outside a Kittery high school last year.

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