BREAKING NEWS: Augusta, ME
Earlier this week Constitutional Carry was passed by the House of Representatives, in turn, Maine’s Governor Paul LePage issued a statement that he would not sign the bill. LePage, a “tea party” Republican, said in his statement that he does not disagree with Constitutional Carry, but will not sign the bill with an amendment that was tacked on in the House, an amendment which limits the legislation to allow only those over the age of 21 to carry without a permit.
“The reason why is in my office I have a picture of Wade Slack, who got killed in Afghanistan protecting the freedom of the American people and he was only 19,” LePage said. “I think it’s wrong to send our kids over to fight wars at 18, 19 and 20, but they can’t carry when they come home. I’m not buying into that.”
By a vote of 21-14, the Maine State Senate has passed Constitutional Carry bill, LD 652. The bill passed with bi-partisan support, and it will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.
State Senator Eric Brakey released a statement on his facebook page:
“This is a great day for the Second Amendment and a great day for Mainers,” said Senator Garrett Mason (R-Androscoggin), the Senate Majority Leader. “Maine has a strong and proud tradition of supporting the right to bear arms. Passage of Constitutional Carry cements and protects that right.”
“I am grateful that my colleagues in the Senate support this commonsense proposal,” said Senator Brakey. “Currently in Maine, you can carry a gun on your person, but once you put on a jacket that covers up that gun you’re carrying illegally if you don’t have a permit. It just doesn’t make sense. This legislation changes that, and in doing so protects our Second Amendment Rights and lessens the burdens on local governments for permitting.”
Much like other states that have passed Constitutional Carry bills, Maine’s bill does not remove the permitting process, allowing permit holders to enjoy reciprocity while in other states that accept Maine’s current permit.
The Maine House of Representatives is under democratic control, however, in an unprecedented move, members of the House democratic leadership have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.
The Maine State Police also have offered their support for the bill.
Governor Paul LePage is considered a tea party Republican and would be very likely to pass the bill if it reaches his desk.