Opinion: A month later, we’re still waiting for gun safety legislation – Maine Beacon

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It’s been a month since 31 people were gunned down in Lewiston, days after the massacre, and our governor still hasn’t proposed or said he would support any specific legislation. The next attack.

It has been four months since they became two young parents Done Westbrook at gunpoint in front of their children and seven months since then a lot He used a gun to shoot seven people in Yarmouth in the first mass shooting of the year. And less than three days after someone was shot Death This weekend in Biddeford.

And none of them are included in the. 650+ people Since Janet Mills became governor at the end of 2018 (2023 not included) gun deaths in Maine – an average of three people are killed by guns in Maine every week. The highest per capita rate in the Northeast.

There is no law. There is no special session. It will take at least six months for the commission to confirm what we already know — these accidents happened because of some of Maine’s gun laws. Worse in the country.

Compare with Connecticut, where Democratic Gov. Daniel Malloy proposed, passed, and Signed Some of the toughest gun safety laws in the country come less than four months after 26 people were killed at an elementary school.

Today, Connecticut is one of the safest states in the country when it comes to gun deaths.

Thankfully, Democratic leaders in the Legislature, House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross and Senate President Troy Jackson, have put together a pair of bills that could be used as an umbrella for the legislation that must eventually pass.

Although the topics are unspecified, from conversations I’ve had with someone with direct knowledge of Senator Jackson’s bill, I expect he’ll want to pass some of the four major bills he needs: an assault weapons ban, waiting periods, universal background checks, and a replacement for the no-nonsense yellow flag law. Red flag legislation Gov. Mills wrote with the gun lobby. As a champion of gun safety laws for decades and having passed three bills, Speaker Ross will no doubt fight for these four. Closer To the governor’s table than the speakers before her.

My hope is that the two delegations from Lewiston and Auburn will act as lead co-sponsors to co-sponsor the final legislation. These bills need the full weight of Democratic leadership behind them. And every lawmaker in every district has seen families destroyed by shootings, so they should open the bill for every lawmaker to join.

To be fair, let me give the Republicans some credit in this discussion. Unlike Mills, they offered at least two ideas for the mass shooting in Maine. They are nonsense, but they are thoughts.

one MathematicsSponsored by Rep. Jim White, Republican of Guilford, the business would hold everyone responsible for firing a gun on their property if they don’t allow everyone to bring a gun onto the premises. Not coincidentally, the sponsor sells guns for a living.

other Mathematics He creates a plaque to honor the victims. “Our thoughts and prayers are with you?” I wonder if it should be said.

Ultimately, the passage of substantive legislation that protects the people of Maine lies at the feet of Gov. Mills. She should drive the process, or at least, say publicly that she accepts what the legislature passes.

A month has passed. We are waiting.





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