Forty-seven Maine legislators have signed on to two letters calling on Cabela’s and Kittery Trading Post to stop selling military-style, semi-automatic weapons, commonly referred to as assault rifles.

Members of the group Thoughts and Prayers in Action conclude a prayer circle at Cabela’s in Scarborough after a protest against the sale of assault-style rifles on Dec. 2. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

The letters were spearheaded by Rep. Lori Gramlich, D-Old Orchard Beach.

“The horrific mass shooting in Lewiston has shown all of us that Maine is not immune from the epidemic of gun violence that has been ravaging communities throughout our country,” Gramlich said in a written statement. “Each and every one of us has the responsibility to do more to prevent gun violence in our state. Halting the sale of these types of firearms is a simple, common-sense step that will greatly reduce the potential that these deadly weapons of war will be used to cause future harm. We are hopeful that Cabela’s and the Kittery Trading Post will do the right thing and set an example of leadership for other outdoor retailers to follow.”

Neither the general manager of Cabela’s in Scarborough nor the president of Kittery Trading post responded to emails and voicemails on Wednesday afternoon seeking comment on the letter. Other retailers have taken steps to eliminate sales of assault style rifles.

L.L. Bean sells hunting guns at its Freeport store, but not semi-automatic rifles. After the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the retailer raised the age from 18 to 21 for gun purchases.

Dick’s Sporting Goods in 2018 said that it would immediately stop selling assault-style rifles and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21. Its CEO took on the National Rifle Association by demanding tougher gun laws after the massacre at a high school in Parkland. Dick’s operates three stories in Maine, in South Portland, Topsham and Augusta.


Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, also announced in 2018 that it would no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21. It had stopped selling AR-15s and other semi-automatic weapons in 2015, citing weak sales.

The letter from legislators comes after a group of faith leaders held a protest outside Cabela’s store in Scarborough last December after the mass shootings in Lewiston. In addition to asking Cabela’s to stop selling semi-automatic rifles, the group wants the sporting goods chain to discontinue the sale of high-capacity magazines and raise the minimum age for all firearm sales from 18 to 21.

Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, the House chair of the Legislature’s Gun Safety Caucus, said in a statement Wednesday that the Legislature is working to enact meaningful gun safety reform to strengthen laws and better protect Maine communities from gun violence in all forms.

“While this important work is ongoing, there are also common-sense steps that retailers can take – like voluntarily ending the sale of military-style weapons intended for war – that will have an immediate impact on reducing potential violence,” Doudera said.

Gramlich is a longtime social worker and third-term member of the Maine House. She is the House chair of the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

Doudera is serving her third term in the Maine House and is a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the Marine Resources Committee. She represents the towns of Camden and Rockport and co-chairs the Legislature’s Gun Safety Caucus.


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