LD 652 (SP 245), “An Act To Authorize the Carrying of Concealed Handguns without a Permit” passed the Senate, 23-12, last Friday. Yesterday, the Maine House passed a lightly amended Constitutional Carry bill, 83-62. The House added two amendments to the bill. “More votes are required in the Senate before the bill moves forward,” pressherald.com reports, “for procedural reasons and because the House adopted two amendments to the bill. One would require anyone under age 21 to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The other would require a person carrying a concealed gun to . . .
tell a police officer if they’re in possession of a weapon during a traffic stop.”
Governor Le Page has already declared that he will sign the bill. The only question: whether opponents will use the minor differences in the bill to kill it or to significantly change it in conference committee. If I were Senator Brakey, I would urge the Senate to accept the House amendments and pass the bill to Governor Le Page. Many have said that the House, with a Democrat majority, would never pass a constitutional carry bill.
The head of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, David Trahan, said that out of state money was a factor that helped the bill pass . . . in a negative way. Could it be that the Bloomberg money and Everytown advertising helped push constitutional carry to passage? It could!
“Maine people don’t like it when money and power coming from out of state tries to influence their decision-making,” said Trahan, who served in the Legislature for 12 years. “That was a factor.”
Maine would become the 7th state to restore constitutional carry. Vermont has always had constitutional carry. Five other states have restored the right to bear arms, both openly and concealed, without special government permission: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, and Wyoming. No additional problems have been detected in states that have embraced constitutional carry.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.