Politics

February 21, 2013

Sens. Collins, King downplay NRA ad against gun control

Both say they hadn't seen the full-page ad, published in newspapers in Maine and four other states.

By Eric Russell erussell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Sen. Angus King speaks at a news conference at Bath Iron Works on Thursday. At right is Sen. Susan Collins.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

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On Thursday, Collins said she has co-sponsored a bipartisan bill that would improve mental health care by raising quality standards and expanding access. But it's not clear how that effort would be funded.

King, who is independent but caucuses with Senate Democrats, said he has not yet introduced any legislation or co-sponsored any gun-related bills. He said the NRA has a legitimate point, but it's not the only point.

"They represent 4 million members and there are something like a hundred million gun owners, so clearly they don't speak for all gun owners," he said.

Brewer said the NRA likely advertised in the Bangor newspaper because it covers a rural, more conservative area.

The paper drew criticism last week because it submitted Freedom of Access Act requests for records of all concealed-weapons permit holders in Maine.

The request was rescinded because of a backlash from lawmakers and threats from advertisers and readers. On Tuesday, the Maine Legislature passed emergency legislation to halt the release of any information on concealed-weapons permits for 60 days.

"I guarantee the NRA ad person who bought that ad got a chuckle about putting it in a newspaper that tried to get information about permit holders and then had to back down from that request," Brewer said.

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

erussell@pressherald.com

Twitter: @PPHEricRussell 

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