STATEWIDE — Several towns and cities in Maine have recently declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries.
“In a word or two, they aren’t really anything,” Maine Gun Safety Coalition Executive Director Geoff Bickford said.
Bickford said these are declarations adopted by town councils who believe some laws are too restrictive of the right to bear arms.
“They’re really just pieces of paper, right? They don’t have any legal effect,” Bickford said. “A town doesn’t have the ability to decide what laws are constitutional and what aren’t. They don’t have the ability to interpret the second amendment in their own way. That’s for our courts to do.”
According to Steven Cilley, a selectman for the town of Princeton, the board adopted this resolution on March 3 with unanimous support.
“I just don’t believe our Second Amendment rights should be infringed upon,” Cilley said.
Cilley said this is currently a monetary issue, but he’s concerned the Biden administration will instill more gun control restrictions.
“I believe in the federal laws and the state laws,” Cilley said. “I just don’t believe in us having to register our guns, pay tax on our guns, register our ammunition. They have no right to know what we’re doing with our ammunition.”
In the event new gun safety laws are put into place, Bickford said they will be monitoring to ensure these towns don’t direct laws to not be enforced.
“That’s again not the town’s place to decide if they were to direct their law enforcement to behave in a certain way that runs contrary to what the laws of the state were,” Bickford said.
Bickford said towns have a right to pass resolutions in line with their values of the Second Amendment.
“As long as the extent that those are just expressions but don’t have any actual effect in the real world, that’s their prerogative,” Bickford said.