Committee of lawmakers send four gun safety bills to the legislature

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - 11 bills dealing with guns have been presented so far in this legislative session.

MGN

The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee has dwindled those down to five.

Tuesday they voted that four of those bills would make it to the full legislature for a vote.

One bill, an act to reduce suicides and violent crimes by requiring a 72 hour waiting period after the sale of a firearm, was a split vote amongst committee members.

Those in favor of the bill say it would help reduce suicide rates in the state.

Those opposed say it would put undue stress on law-abiding citizens who are trying to purchase a firearm.

Committee members spent quite a bit of time debating another bill, LD 533.

It's referred to as a stand your ground law which would affirm the right of self-defense.

Rep. Richard Pickett, a Republican from Dixfield says, "It's not a cut blank of you just being able to draw a gun and shoot somebody. It's to defend yourself, stand your ground, and not have to be intimidated and walk away."

Rep. Charlotte Warren, a Democrat from Hallowell says, "When you're up here, and we're trying to do our jobs representing Maine people, we should be thinking about what's the problem that we are creating a solution to. I didn't really see any case that we needed to create a solution to. Our self-defense statutes are working just fine."

It was voted seven to four ought not to pass, but with those numbers, it will still move forward to the legislature for a vote.

Another bill requiring stricter background checks for sales at gun shows in the state and one requiring the safe storage of loaded weapons were also passed.

Again the legislature will now take these up for a vote.