AUGUSTA, Maine (NECN) - A new
group calling itself "Coalition for a Safer Maine--No More
Newtowns!" has come together in the wake of the tragedy at the
Sandy Hook Elementary School.
coalition, made up of lawmakers, police, physicians and citizens hopes to
spread the curb of gun violence by backing new gun control legislation
sponsored by former Sheriff turned lawmaker Mark Dion.
a former sheriff, I'm all too familiar with the complex intersection of guns,
violence and mental disorders. These issues are incredibly complex and will
require our best work," says Dion.
bill, which has yet to be printed, will call for background checks before
private gun sales, ban high capacity magazines, and prevent people
who are seriously mental ill from buying guns.
actions called for in this bill will not stop firearm injuries in Maine, but
they will make the numbers better," says Bob Mcafee, former
President of the American Medical Association
responsible gun ownership is the norm in Maine, South Portland Police Chief Ed
Googins says more oversight is badly needed.
is known around New England as a place where guns can be easily purchased with
a background check," says Googins.
in a state where one in two households has at least one firearm, support for
the second amendment is strong. And many Republcians may be unlikely to support
any erosion of Mainers' right to bear arms.
might find some common ground, but as Republicans we're more interested
in fundamental constitutional rights," says Ken Fredette, House Minority
lawmakers will certainly hear from gun owners.
Sportsman's Alliance of Maine, which has around 10,000 members,
says it's signed up 500 new members in the last two weeks and
they're mobilizing for a fight.
is the single greatest challenge to the second amendment of our lifetime. We've
known all along that we're going to face a great challenge," says David
Trahan, Sportsman's Alliance of Maine's Executive Director.
With more than 80 bills both forand against gun control being submitted in
this legislative session, it's clear access to firearms will be
a hot topic, whether substantive change emerges from the Capitol remains
to be seen.