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Keeping Mainers Safe

While Maine is generally viewed as a safe state when it comes to crime, we have a high rate of firearm suicide, a disturbing number of domestic abuse situations involving guns, and in 2023 experienced two mass shootings which claimed the lives of two dozen Mainers and injured many others. Gun violence is unfortunately on the rise here in Maine, and our lax gun laws are a big part of the problem.

Since my first term in the legislature I have worked to make Maine safer from gun violence.  My first effort was the successful passage of LD 759, an act to amend the child endangerment law to include loaded guns in homes where children reside. That safe storage bill became law in July of 2021 — a few months after several Maine children died or were critically injured after finding loaded firearms left lying on tables or in closets — and is now a model for other states. 

As founder and co-chair of the legislature’s Gun Safety Caucus, I have worked with my colleagues year after year to pass much needed legislation such as a 72-hour waiting period to purchase firearms and a closing of the background check loophole involving advertised sales of guns. These are hard-won victories. 

However there is more to do, such as passage of a true “red flag” or extreme risk order bill in Maine, as well as measures to curtail “ghost” guns and rapid fire modification devices. As I approach my fourth and final term in the Maine House, I remain committed to this work because I know it saves lives. I agree with the many Mainers across our state who have reached out to say that we can respect constitutional rights, honor our tradition of hunting and shooting sports, yet still craft policy that reduces gun violence in Maine. 

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