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For Immediate Release

Date: 06/07/11

Rep. Crafts Kills Concealed Carry Bill Amid Security Changes

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Dale Crafts today orchestrated the defeat of his bill that would have allowed individuals with concealed carry permits to carry concealed firearms in the State House.

Rep. Crafts (R-Lisbon) said the recently approved plan to tighten security in the State House has diminished his concern about possible threats to legislators as well as staff members and visitors in the building. Consequently, he arranged for indefinite postponement of LD 932 - "An Act To Allow Concealed Weapons in the State House." This means the bill is effectively dead.

"I submitted the bill to call attention to the fact that security in the State House is minimal," said Rep. Crafts, a second-term legislator. "We're living during a time when political passions and animosity have reached disturbing levels. We saw what happened in the shooting of Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords in Arizona, and no one wants to see anything like that happen in Maine."

Legislative leaders said Rep. Crafts' bill was a catalyst for a new security plan that will cost an estimated $546,000 over two years. It will add one police officer and four security officers to operate a metal detector at the public entrance to the State House. The plan, approved by the Legislative Council last week, is expected to be implemented by next January, when the Legislature returns for its Second Regular Session.

"The bill by Rep. Crafts led to a realization that security in the building needed an upgrade," said Rep. Phil Curtis (R-Madison), leader of the House Republicans. "The measures we voted to put in place will not be overly restrictive but will improve public safety in the State House. They will enhance the security of everyone who works or visits there." ###

Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445