AUGUSTA, Maine – As the Senate prepares to vote on LD 652, a bill that would let people carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Maine chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today announced that they are running full-page ads in the Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald featuring a letter from the Maine Chiefs of Police Association (MCOPA) and other digital and radio ads opposing this dangerous legislation. The full-page newspaper ad along with TV and radio ads can be seen here.
The letter signed by seven Maine police chiefs states that:
“The Maine Chiefs of Police Association opposes L.D. 652 because we know that eliminating the permitting system will make it legal for dangerous people – including convicted criminals and people who have not had even the most basic gun safety training – to carry hidden, loaded guns in public throughout Maine… As Chiefs of Police from throughout Maine, it is our job to ensure the safety of the communities we serve. Allowing criminals and other dangerous people to carry hidden, loaded guns in public makes that job dramatically more difficult, and jeopardizes the safety of the law enforcement officers who every day put themselves in harm’s way. We urge you to oppose L.D. 652.”
The MCOPA leaders signed onto the letter are:
• President Chief Jim Willis, Mt. Desert Police Department
• 1st VP Chief Michael Field, Bath Police Department
• 2nd VP Chief Ed Tolan, Falmouth Police Department
• Sergeant at Arms Chief Sean Geagan, Bucksport Police Department
• Secretary Chief Doug Bracy, York Police Department
• Treasurer Chief Neal Williams, Cape Elizabeth Police Department
• Executive Director Chief (Ret.) Robert Schwartz
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 Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety also recommends that the state legislature oppose LD 652.
Everytown and Moms also previously 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.”