Wednesday, 16 January 2019 18:08

Pending legislation aimed at gun regulation Featured

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AUGUSTA - A number of gun control bills will make their way through the legislature this session. Lawmakers continue to debate different firearm regulations, including background checks and 'red flag' measures.

Governor Janet Mills has already publicly stated she doesn't want to create a universal background check for firearm purchases, but there's still plenty of pending legislation aimed at gun regulations.

 

"These aren't attacks on the second amendment, we're not taking away people's guns or prohibiting from possessing some class of firearms," said Maine Gun Safety Coalition Executive Director Geoff Bickford. "We're just talking about common sense gun measures that are designed to keep people safe at home, safe in the workplace, safe in the public."

 

Some pieces of legislation include 'red flag' measures, which would take firearms from those who are deemed a danger to themselves or others. As attorney general, Governor Mills helped amend one such bill in 2017.

 

"That was for individuals who have gone through the courts, been ordered into outpatient care that are in crisis," said Sportsman's Alliance of Maine Executive Director David Trahan. "It makes sense to target those folks getting handguns in particular, but firearms out of their custody until their crisis has passed."

 

Trahan says laws such as that make sense, but believes gun violence isn't an alarming issue in Maine.

 

"Our murder rates were down significantly from an average of 24 to 18, half of those with firearms, so we feel like we're doing something right in Maine and we don't really understand why so many people want to push gun control on us when we're such a safe state to live in," said Trahan.

 

Advocates for increased gun safety are still pushing for a universal background check. Legislation on the topic was rejected in 2016, but proposals have since been changed.

 

"It's not this black and white, guns or no guns," said Bickford. "There's something in the middle and that's what we're working for. For gun safety measures that protect the public and the second amendment right to possess a firearm."

Alex Bobbyn

Morning Anchor/Reporter
[email protected]

Alex Bobbyn joined the ABC 7 and FOX 22 news team in July of 2018.

He is a graduate of Penn State University, where he studied broadcast journalism and economics. While at Penn State, Alex served as the general manager o...