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(L-R) Reps. Pouliot and Wilson and Sen. Katz, all of Augusta, at the Sherriffs' Association's 2013 gun forum.
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For Immediate Release

Date: 05/29/13

House Defeats Measure to Infringe Mainers' Right to Bear Arms

Bill would prohibit law-abiding 18-20 year old Mainers from obtaining concealed-carry permit

AUGUSTA - The House Wednesday took its initial vote on LD 223, a bill sponsored by Rep. Timothy Marks (D-Pittston) to forbid law-abiding 18-20 year old Mainers from carrying a concealed handgun for self-protection. Lawmakers rejected the Majority "Ought to Pass" report, 40-102. The majority of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee had endorsed the bill, 7-6.

"Maine has one of the highest rates of gun ownership and lowest rates of violent crime in the nation," said Rep. Rick Long, the House Republican Lead on the Criminal Justice Committee. "This was a solution looking for a problem, and an infringement of the rights of responsible young adults to keep and bear arms."

Current state law allows Mainers aged 18 years or older to apply for a concealed handgun permit. Marks's bill would have increased that age to 21.

"I find it unconscionable that we would ask 18-20 year olds to fight for us overseas but tell them they're not responsible enough to carry a gun for their own protection here at home," said Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta), who joined the Marine Corps at age 17 and served in Iraq. "I was disappointed that the majority on my committee voted for this gun control measure, but am very pleased and frankly surprised by today's result."

Rep. Marks has pushed a series of gun control measures during his freshman session which have received criticism from gun rights advocates. Seven of the 10 acts Marks has introduced seek to restrict gun-owners' rights.

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Contact:
David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793