AUGUSTA, Maine – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Maine chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today released new television, radio and digital ads opposing LD 652, legislation being considered by the Maine legislature that would let people carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit. The ads (available here) will air throughout Maine on television and radio, and with a homepage takeover of the Portland Press Herald and prominent display advertising across the Bangor Daily News website.
Both ads emphasize the dangers presented by repealing Maine’s public safety law that requires a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public, and highlight the broad opposition to the proposal; the Maine Chiefs of Police Association has come out in opposition to LD 652, and 84 percent of Mainers – including 83 percent of people in NRA households – oppose scrapping permits for concealed handguns.
The radio ad features retired Police Chief Bob Schwartz, who serves as executive director of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association.
“For fifty years, I’ve dedicated my life to protecting our families and communities here in Maine. I’ve been around guns my whole life. I’m proud of Maine’s tradition of responsible gun ownership,” Schwartz says in the ad. “We know our right to bear arms also means keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people. People with no safety training at all – even violent criminals – could carry hidden, loaded guns in public…So tell your legislator – vote ‘NO’ on LD 652. Keep permits for concealed handguns.”
To get a concealed weapons permit in Maine, you need to have a clean criminal record and basic gun safety training. LD 652 would eliminate these common-sense 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 handful of states to allow people to carry concealed handguns in public places without any permit whatsoever.
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Maine Moms Demand Action, which has more than 16,000 supporters in Maine, previously released polling showing 84 percent of Maine voters believe people should be required to have a permit in order to carry hidden, loaded guns in public places, as current law dictates.
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.”