Yesterday, 28 May, 2015, the Maine Senate voted to restore Mainers second amendment rights. The legislation would remove the requirement to obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm. The earliest ban on concealed carry in Maine that I could find, was passed in 1967. It has never been illegal for Mainers to carry handguns openly. The Maine Senate has a majority of Republicans, but the vote was expected to be closer. The bill passed 21-14. From the pressherald.com:
The decisive vote led advocates to predict passage in the House of Representatives, which could take up the proposal in the coming days. And it prompted a leading opposition group to urge members to call their state representatives and persuade them to vote “No.”Michael Bloomberg's lobby groups have been buying ads in an attempt to convince Mainers to pressure their representatives to vote against the bill. Main has legislation that requires reporting of advocacy efforts, but only if the advocates have direct contact with lawmakers.
“I was under the impression it was going to be a lot closer than that,” said South Portland Police Chief Edward Googins, an opponent of the measure.
Here is the complete Text of LD 652:
An Act To Authorize the Carrying of Concealed Handguns without a PermitBe it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §11212, sub-§1, ¶B, as amended by PL 2005, c. 477, §9, is further amended to read:B. A person may not, while in or on a motor vehicle or in or on a trailer or other type of vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle, have a cocked and armed crossbow or a firearm with a cartridge or shell in the chamber or in an attached magazine, clip or cylinder or a muzzle-loading firearm charged with powder, lead and a primed ignition device or mechanism, except that a person who has a valid Maine permit to carry a concealed weapon is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm may have in or on a motor vehicle or trailer or other type of vehicle a loaded pistol or revolver covered by that permit.Sec. 2. 25 MRSA §2001-A, sub-§2, ¶A-1 is enacted to read:A-1. A handgun carried by a person who is not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm;SummaryThis bill authorizes a person who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. This bill also authorizes a person to possess a loaded pistol or revolver while in a motor vehicle or a trailer or other vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle.
Maine came within one vote of passing constitutional carry in 2013. Majorities of both houses are signed on as sponsors of the bill this year, as L.D. 652. The bill has had strong grassroots support. Governor Paul LePage has a record as a second amendment supporter. It is very likely that he would sign the bill.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch