Members of outlaw motorcycle clubs can be hard-working community members who, when not wearing their colors, don’t stand out from their neighbors.

None of that has any bearing on the law enforcement crackdown on the Outlaws’ Maine chapter this month, which resulted in the June 15 shootout in Old Orchard Beach that killed reputed club treasurer Thomas Mayne.

Prosecutors say they are pursuing the architects of a highly organized criminal enterprise with multi-level chain of command.

According to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Portland, members of the group have shot and killed members of rival organizations, and Mayne is accused of shooting at police during the raid last week.

That kind of violent behavior should not be tolerated, and law enforcement officers are right to take steps to maintain order. Just because the targets of the violence appear to be rival motorcycle club members doesn’t make their turf wars any less dangerous.

Maine has been mostly free from the stray-bullet killings and neighborhood terror that come from established gangs fighting for territory. The lack of organized crime contributes to our low murder rate and low rate of crime overall.

The Outlaws are the subject of charges only, and its members are entitled to defend themselves in court. But the charges against them are serious, and it is the job of federal law enforcement agencies to pursue them when they believe crimes like those alleged have occurred.

The Outlaws were not targeted because they wear colors or ride motorcycles, and whether they are good neighbors most of the time doesn’t matter. This is about protecting public safety.