We all agree that no one wants a mass shooting in Maine or wants kids and parents afraid to go to school. And though Maine is a safe state, we all would agree that we need to keep guns out of the hands of people who would use them unsafely.

There are three bills currently under consideration in the Legislature that would be a step toward ensuring gun safety and keeping Maine a safe place.

L.D. 168 requires criminal background checks of buyers of firearms. Under federal law guns bought at licensed dealers must go through a background check but guns bought through personal sales don’t require such checks. L.D. 168 would close this loophole. Background checks work. States that require universal background checks sales have lower homicide rates.

Another bill, L.D. 1340, would make it a crime to possess, transfer or sell a rapid-fire modification device (bump stock devices). These devices convert semi-automatic weapons into extremely deadly automatic weapons of war. There is no reason for owning one of these devices and no place for them in Maine.

Finally, L.D. 60 would impose a 72-hour waiting period after the purchase of a firearm. Waiting periods provide opportunities for intervention. States that have enacted waiting periods have seen declines in both gun homicides and suicides. Currently Maine outpaces the nation in gun suicides and has the highest rate for suicide of youth in the nation. L.D. 60 would be an effective tool in preventing deaths.

Please contact your state legislatures and encourage them to support these laws. Help keep Maine a safe state.
To find your legislators: nrcm.salsalabs.org/mainelegislatorlookup/index.html


Sue Kistenmacher


Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story