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  • 19 Apr 2024 2:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Updates on Legislation: What You Can Do

    In the last week we have seen 72-Hour Waiting Periods, forfeiture/destruction of State Seized Firearms with a sneaky amendment to outlaw bump stocks and binary triggers among other things, as well as modifications to our current "Yellow Flag" law and what amounts to Universal Background Checks pass through the House and Senate, and await action by Governor Mills.

    The best thing you can do right now is contact Governor Mills' office and ask her to veto these pieces of legislation (see below for how to do this). The House nor the Senate have the numbers to override a veto. 

    Despite the fact that her bill was heavily modified in committee and passed as an amended version, the chances of Governor Mills vetoing her own bill are slim. Yes, we would like to see the expansion of background checks defeated with a veto, but it is unlikely.

    The Speaker's Red Flag bill never made it to the House or Senate for a vote. We feel strongly this is because it came out of committee with four reports, there was no consensus among anti-gun legislators, and would have been a bad talking point for them as we head into November's Election. This is a huge win for the pro-rights community, and is a thorn in the side of those seeking to strip us of those rights. 

    72-Hour Waiting Periods passed both the House and the Senate, falsely labeled as a "Suicide Prevention" Bill. There were some excellent floor speeches by pro-gun legislators that I would strongly recommend you take a moment to listen to if able (two that are easily found are below, if you are able to listen to the whole discussion, there are so much more-if you need help navigating this just ask!). We are frustrated daily by the lack of majority representation in Augusta, but there are legislators that have fought along side us with what amounts to nothing short of awe-inspiring. Waiting periods, aside from being completely unconstitutional, make people defenseless, harm our economy, and will decimate gun shows and small business owners in our state.

    Rep. Rachel Henderson on Waiting Periods

    Rep. Katrina Smith on Waiting Periods

    Destruction of firearms and alterations in the definition of Machine Gun to include commonly owned semi-automatic firearms modifications is not only a waste of perfectly good firearms, it is a stepping stone to a ban on "assault" weapons. This amendment brought to light the fact that Maine's current statute surrounding the definition of a Machine Gun (as assessed by attorneys specializing in firearms) could be construed to include shotguns/buckshot/snake shot. Yes, this law has been on the books for decades, but it is out of step with federal law and frankly, "intentions" of politicians who seek to remove firearms from the hands of law-abiding citizens is not something we trust. This definition needs to be amended and we will be seeking to do so next session.

    CONTACT THE GOVERNOR:

    Please reach out to Governor Mills online, by phone (207-287-3531) or using a resource such as the NRA's easy to use form and encourage her to veto these bills. Don't hesitate to use all three methods! While we would never intend to tell our members how to communicate with our lawmakers, we would strongly encourage your communications to be respectful. 


  • 17 Apr 2024 9:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Legislative Update & Next Steps

    On April 16th, the House of Representatives passed both the 72-Hour Waiting Period and Machine Gun re-definition bills by one vote each. 

    As of this hour, because they have both already passed through the Senate, they now need to have an enactment vote in both the House and Senate.

    Below, please find links to the current status of the gun-related bills before the House and Senate, in which you can find the roll calls of how each legislator voted.

    It is important to recognize that, though in the minority, there are many pro-gun rights legislators that are standing strong for our rights in the House and Senate. If your legislator is among them, please take a moment to thank them for their support. When they are available, we will send some links to some of their floor speeches, they are worth listening to. 

    LD 2224: An Act to Strengthen Public Safety by Improving Maine's Firearm Laws and Mental Health System  (Expanded Yellow Flag Law and Background Checks)

    Status and Roll Call

    LD 2283: An Act to Enact the Crisis Intervention Order Act to Protect the Safety of the Public  (RED FLAG)  This Bill was just reported out of committee on 4/16 and has not yet had a floor vote as of this hour.

    LD 2238: An Act to Address Gun Violence in Maine by Requiring a Waiting Period for Certain Firearm Purchases (72-Hour Waiting Periods)

    Status and Roll Call

    LD 2086: An Act to Amend the Law Governing the Disposition of Forfeited Firearms (Machine Gun Re-Definition  Amendment) 

    Status and Roll Call

    LD 1696: An Act to Create a Civil Cause of Action for Persons Suffering Damages Arising from the Illegal Sale or Marketing of Firearm-related Products

    LD 1696 failed to pass and is dead. This is good news.


  • 05 Apr 2024 10:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Click Here to Read our heavily cited testimony.


  • 04 Apr 2024 2:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The status of the bill, with applicable roll calls and submitted public hearing testimony can be found here.

    As of this date, please direct your attention to the Governor and urge her to veto this bill. 


  • 31 Mar 2024 5:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On a Saturday afternoon on a holiday weekend, the public hearing for the Red Flag legislation proposal was scheduled.

    Click here to review the bill. 

    FRIDAY, April 5th at 9:00am at the Maine State House, Augusta

    Judiciary Committee Room 438

    Please see images below for how to submit testimony online or to sign up to testify via Zoom at https://www.mainelegislature.org/testimony/

    Online Submission:

    1. Go to website
    2. Choose Public Hearing
    3. Choose Judiciary Committee
    4. Choose Date: April 5, 2024
    5. Choose LD 2283

    Given the uncertainty of the weather at the end of the week, we would recommend submitting testimony online even if you plan on testifying in person.

    We anticipate the usual shortened testimony time, 2 minutes, but have not yet been made aware of how testimony will be handled.

    Your testimony does not have to be lengthy: just state who you are/where you live, your opposition, and a brief statement of why.



  • 29 Mar 2024 6:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bill Language

    An Act to Enact the Crisis Intervention Order Act to Protect the Safety of the Public

    AKA - An Act to Remove Firearms without Due Process

  • 28 Mar 2024 5:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Governor's bill came out of the Judiciary Committee with an 8-6 Ought to Pass Majority Report.

    This is the content of the bill, with the amendments put forth by the Governor's Office. The image below is an important amendment that was made in committee by Representative Moonen who stated with his motion, " I think my concern is that there are private groups on social media that can have tens, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of members, but because it's a private group I'm concerned that the words 'to the general public' would not incorporate those groups, and so I want to strike those words so that anything that's broad cast to a very substantial number of people , rather than a direct message to one person, would be covered."



  • 27 Mar 2024 8:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Please find below important updates on the following:

    • Gun Bills Work Session 3/27
    • Status of Ethics Complaint
    • SAFER Course Back Online
    • Front Porch Politics with Tim Boyum: a post-Lewiston Shooting documentary that President Laura Whitcomb and Gun Rights Activist Robert Duhaime participated in entitled "Guns: United in Grief, Divided on Solutions"
    • The Last Line of Defense: Why Guns are Necessary to Preserve Liberty Forum in Waterville Maine on April 13th.


    Gun Bills Work Session #3:

    We fully anticipate that anti-gun Legislators will try and insert a full "Red Flag" law as an amendmen. We also received word of a new amendment to the Governor's Bill (see below) ahead of tomorrow's anticipated vote.

    Work Session #3

    Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 1:00 PM

    State House, Room 438


    LD 2238: An Act to Address Gun Violence in Maine by Requiring a Waiting Period for Certain Firearm Purchases

    Bill language can be found here

    LD 2224 (GOVERNOR'S BILL) "An Act to Strengthen Public Safety by Improving Maine's Firearm Laws and Mental Health System"

    Original Bill language can be found here.  

    **The latest amendments from the Governor's office, as of this hour, can be found here. **

    As previously outlined, as it stands now the Governor's Bill would allow a backdoor way to try and enforce Universal Background Checks. 

    LD 2086: An Act to Amend the Law Governing the Disposition of Forfeited Firearms WITH Sponsor Amendment to Change the Definition of Machine Gun

    The Machine Gun Amendment cannot be found on maine.gov, but it can be found here.  Bill language can be found here

    Status of Ethics Complaint:

    As we shared with you last week, we filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission regarding Senator Carney and other anti-gun legislator's meeting with a representative of the ATF behind closed doors. We submitted the complaint at approximately 12:50pm on Thursday, March 21st. At 5:05pm the same day we received notice, with Senator Carney carbon copied in the email, that the Commission had reviewed our complaint with their staff attorneys and found it did not fall within their jurisdiction and declined to move forward. We anticipated this result. 

    Regardless of this declination, we have achieved an enormous amount of press and have placed Senator Carney on notice - we are paying attention.

    We will continue as planned, having attained legal counsel, with Freedom of Access violation filings. We will also be looking at Federal Freedom of Information Act violations as well as violations of the Hatch Act

    Legislators need to know that we are watching and that we are prepared to act when the law is violated as they try to infringe on our rights.

    SAFER Course Back Online:

    Due to some server issues the SAFER Maine: Statewide Access to Firearms Education & Resources website was down for about a week. 

    The SAFER Course is just one example of how Gun Owners of Maine continues to demonstrate leadership in the area of Gun Safety. It continues to be used as a tool by many municipalities around the state, as well as the Maine State Police, for the issuance of concealed weapons permits. 

    Your membership dues, raffle ticket purchases, and donations all allow this course to continue. Thank you! 

    "Guns: United in Grief, Divided on Solutions"

    We were invited by Mr. Tim Boyum, a journalist with Spectrum Cable News, to participate in a documentary about the fabric of gun ownership in Maine following the tragedies in Lewiston in October of last year. 

    After a great deal of thought and looking into Mr. Boyum's previous work, we agreed that I (Laura) would interview with them, at A & G Shooting Supply in Fairfield, Maine. We know media inquiries can be risky, but not participating means we get no voice at all -and with an average viewership of 25 million, we wanted a voice. Others interviewed include a family member of a shooting victim and former Senator Mike Carpenter .

    They had also asked one of our members and Gun Rights Activist Robert Duhaime to participate and give his perspective. Initially, they stated that if a GOME representative would be willing to speak that they didn't need two members. I immediately deferred to Robert, feeling strongly that his unique perspective and knowledge, paired with his knowledge of firearms, would be a worthy addition to their program.

    They wound up interviewing us both. We have only seen the trailer, but are sharing with you the viewing opportunity of the full special. It is scheduled to air Wednesday, March 27th at 8:30pm. If you are a Spectrum Cable or Internet customer you can view it automatically for free. If not, it can be viewed later that evening or the following day on their website (also free) 

    The Trailer can be viewed here (Twitter/X - no account needed to view) and here (Facebook).

    Laura


    The Last Line of Defense: Why Guns are Necessary to Preserve Liberty Forum

    Laura Whitcomb and Andee Reardon (GOME Board Member and State Director for Women for Gun Rights ), along with Maine State Representative Katrina Smith and NRA Firearms instructor Bruce Roscoe were invited to speak at the Kennebec County chapter of Turning Point USA's forum on gun rights.

    Turning Point USA is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that targets young people, generally ages 14-22, and encourages them to participate in various causes, one of the main points being Second Amendment Advocacy. 

    Because we encourage the next generation of Mainers to be involved in advocating for their gun rights, we thought we'd share this educational opportunity. While their main audience is young people, all are invited and welcome. See the image below for more details



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