For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - About 100 concerned citizens came to the State House for an outside demonstration in support of the 2nd Amendment and the gun rights guaranteed by Maine's Constitution today. They braved the 5 degree weather and horizontal snow for roughly two hours as a series of speakers addressed the crowd.
Conservative columnist and former congressional candidate Prof. John Frary spoke, along with former congressional candidate Blaine Richardson. Rep. Deborah Sanderson (R-Chelsea) spoke to the crowd about the importance of preserving Mainers' right to bear arms and about the need to focus on mental health as a root cause of gun violence.
"People are seeing what they perceive as a knee-jerk reaction to recent shootings and they aren't happy about the direction a lot of proposed legislation at the state and federal level is taking us in," said Rep. Sanderson. "Many of my Republican colleagues and I are very concerned about the rights of law-abiding gun owners being infringed."
After Rep. Sanderson spoke, Gov. Paul LePage addressed the crowd and proceeded to mingle and shake hands with the demonstrators, who cheered loudly for the Governor. Also in attendance at the rally were State Representatives Dennis Keschl (R-Belgrade) and Corey Wilson (R-Augusta). Rep. Keschl is a 31-year veteran of the Army and the Maine National Guard, having served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Rep. Wilson served in the Marine Corps and was twice deployed to Kuwait and Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Both lawmakers said they attended to show their support for the rights they fought to defend.
"Unlike the laws we write at the State House, the right to bear arms for personal protection is an inherent, natural right of all free people and is simply secured by our state and federal constitutions," said Rep. Keschl, who pointed to the wording of the Maine Constitution, which says: "Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned."
David Sorensen, Communications Director
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793