PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Mainers on both sides of the gun control debate are reacting to the rejected proposal to expand background checks on gun purchases.
There was a lot of public support for expanded background checks here in Maine. Mayors Against Illegal Handguns has a strong presence in the state, and the parents of Darien Richardson have also been very vocal. She was the victim of a Portland shooting where the gun was purchased anonymously at a gun show.
"Enough people changed their vote, moved over the line, that are telling us, the citizens of the United States that this is not an important enough issue for you to take the most moderate step that you could take right now and do simple, simple background checks on people who wish to own a firearm" said Dr. Robert McAfee of Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence.
There is no question that there is still a large population of people in this state who don't want any stricter federal gun laws on the books.
"People in the senate started to listen to people out in the country who are very outspoken about it and who are, I'm convinced, the majority in spite of what you may here from polls," Jeff Weinstein of the Maine Gun Owners Association said. "The majority of people were in favor of the defeat of this bill as written."
There are still several gun control bills being debated by Maine lawmakers. One of those proposals would require background checks for private and gun show sales.