For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - L.D. 345, the bill sponsored by Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) to protect the identity of Mainers with concealed handgun permits, received its public hearing before the Legislature's Judiciary Committee today throughout most of the afternoon. A total of 31 people testified㬗 in support, three in opposition, and one neither for nor againstaccording to the records of the committee clerk.
"Mainers have spoken, and they have made it clear that their right to bear arms is unduly suppressed by the reality that anybody can find out if they are carrying a concealed weapon," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "Having this private information out in the open eliminates the advantage to personal protection that comes with concealed-carry and subjects permit holders to burglary and simple invasions of privacy. I'm pleased that the bill has received such broad, bipartisan support so far and I believe strongly that it should become law."
The Maine Sheriff's Association and the Maine Police Chiefs' Association support the bill for public safety reasons. The temporary measure introduced by the governor and sponsored by Democratic legislative leadership garnered a convincing 129-11 vote in the House and a unanimous, 33-0 vote in the Senate. All 57 of Rep. Wilson's House Republican colleagues co-sponsored his measure, to which he recently attached an amendment to allow for the dissemination of aggregate data that does not personally identify individual permit holders.
"This bill is about protecting the privacy, safety, and constitutional rights of Maine gunowners," said Assistant House Republican Leader Alexander Willette (R-Mapleton). "If we can keep the identity of welfare recipients private and exempt from public access, we should be able to protect the identity of law-abiding gunowners. Mainers value the independence and security that comes with gun ownership and they have made it abundantly clear over the past several weeks that they want this information kept private."
David Sorensen, Communications Director
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793