AUGUSTA — The Maine Legislature is moving forward with a proposal to change its child endangerment laws to include unauthorized access to firearms.

The law currently states that a person can be found guilty of endangering a child if they knowingly sell, furnish or give away items such as liquor, tobacco and ammunition to children under age 16.

The proposal from Democratic Rep. Vicki Doudera of Camden changes the law to include leaving a loaded firearm where a child can access it.

Twenty-seven states have similar laws. The Maine House of Representatives voted last week to advance Doudera’s proposal.

The proposal has the support of the Maine chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and some law enforcement members.

Doudera said the proposal “is not for the responsible gun owners among us” and will protect “children of the people who are not responsible.”

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