AUGUSTA, Maine – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Maine chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today applaud the Joint Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety for recommending that the state legislature oppose LD 652, a bill that would let people carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit. The Committee voted 7-3 “ought not to pass” and LD 652 now heads to the Senate.
“The committee today stood up for public safety by definitively opposing this dangerous legislation that would eliminate the common-sense requirement that a person get a permit before carrying a concealed, loaded handgun in public,” said Chief Bob Schwartz, (Ret.), Executive Director of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association. “Maine has a strong tradition of responsible gun ownership – but we know that our right to bear arms also means keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people. I urge the Senate to heed the recommendation of the Joint Committee and vote ‘NO’ on LD 652.”
To get a concealed handgun permit in Maine, you need to have a clean criminal record and basic gun safety training. LD 652 would eliminate these public safety protections, making it legal for some violent criminals and people who have never handled a gun to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public. If the bill becomes law, Maine would become one of only a small minority of states to allow people to carry concealed handguns in public without any permit whatsoever.
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Maine Moms Demand Action, which has more than 16,000 supporters in the state, previously released polling showing 84 percent of Maine voters believe people should be required to have a permit in order to carry a concealed handgun in public, as current law dictates. The group also released television, radio and digital ads opposing LD 652, emphasizing the dangers presented by repealing Maine’s public safety law that requires a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public.
The Ellsworth American and the Bangor Daily News have editorialized against LD 652, with the latter stating that, “Maine’s permit system works, although it could be quicker, and it is strongly supported by the state’s residents and law enforcement officials. It should not be tossed aside.”