February 6, 2013

New coalition backs Maine laws to prevent gun violence

By Tom Bell tbell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — A new coalition is backing legislation that would require background checks for private gun sales, ban high-capacity magazines and prevent people who are seriously mentally ill from buying guns.

The group, “Coalition for a Safer Maine – No More Newtowns!," was launched today at a State House press conference.

Former Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert, and former U.S. Attorney Paula Silsby are serving as co-chairs.
Others include South Portland Police Chief Ed Googins, and Robert McAfee, a retired surgeon and past president of the Maine Medical Association and the American Medical Association.

The Maine Council of Churches and the Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence has also joined the group.

The group is backing a bill submitted by Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland, co-chair of the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

Dion said he is still writing the bill and working on the details. The goal is to prevent an incident occurring in Maine like the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. in December.

A disturbed 20-year-old man who was armed with a semi-automatic weapon that had high-capacity clips killed 20 children and six educators.

“This isn’t about taking away Second Amendment rights,” Dion said. “It’s about viewing the Second Amendment in a contemporary, modern society.”

Organizers said they expect the coalition of supporters will grow in coming weeks.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)