I have to admit that gun safety hasn’t been much of a priority for me legislatively. However, with the recent killings in Atlanta and Boulder, and here in Waterville with a drive-by shooting and the accidental shooting of a 2-year-old, I’ve decided that it’s time to make my voice heard.

We tend to think that guns here in Maine are just a part of life used for hunting and that those who own them know how to store and use them safely, but that’s not true. More than five times as many people died by suicide in Maine in 2017 than in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents and the majority of those deaths involved guns. Guns are also the primary weapons in domestic violence murders in Maine.

I’m not anti-gun. We have two. I am pro sensible legislation. I want background checks required on all purchases, no bump stocks or ghost guns (those created on 3D printers), and the guns of domestic abusers taken away. The majority of Mainers are in favor of reasonable gun safety laws and it’s up to us to make that happen.

We license drivers so why is it beyond the pale to license gun owners?

For those of you in Sen. Scott Cyrway’s district, which includes Waterville, Winslow, Albion and Benton, your voice is critical because he serves on the Criminal Justice Committee, which is hearing all of the gun-safety bills this session. The hearings are being held soon.

The Maine Gun Safety Coalition’s Show Up Network is an easy way to keep informed about when your voice will make a difference in the legislative process. When it’s time to call your legislators or testify on bill of concern, you’ll get a notice. Sign up at: MaineGunSafety.org

 

Karen Heck

Waterville

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