January 17, 2013

Maine delegation hesitant to back Obama's gun plan

Their responses range from seeing the plan as a starting point to not taking a stand on any of it.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Michaud has an "A-" rating from the NRA and received $4,000 from the group last election cycle.


Pingree, the delegation's most liberal member, called Obama's plan "a very reasonable agenda" that would serve as a starting point for negotiations.

"We're not going to get everything here ... but I think it is important that we put things out there" for the public to weigh, she said.

The North Haven Democrat, who received a failing grade from the NRA, has co-sponsored past attempts to reinstate the ban on assault weapons that expired nine years ago, as well as bills to prohibit the manufacturing of large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Pingree said she is confident that proposals being developed by colleagues heavily involved in the issue will address some of the weaknesses in the previous ban.

The president's 10-bullet magazine restriction was "appropriate," Pingree said. But she added that she would be willing to consider a smaller magazine, such as the 7-bullet restriction passed into law by New York state earlier this week.

Pingree also supports the idea of a universal background check applying to both gun shows and private sales through classified ads, although she acknowledged that the latter would be more difficult to implement.

"If we can just get rid of the gun-show loophole we would be making major progress," she said.

Pingree is married to S. Donald Sussman, majority share owner of MaineToday Media, which publishes the Portland Press Herald, the Kennebec Journal and the Waterville Morning Sentinel.

Washington Bureau Chief Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:


On Twitter: @KevinMillerDC

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