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Maine may be the most likely state to pass constitutional carry next.  The state is one of those which has has preserved open carry without government permission, though that can be said of over 60% of the states. In addition, The Pine Tree State has a quirky ‘shall issue’ permitting system that gives a little arbitrary power, in the form of a “good moral character” requirement, to local police or elected officials, if there is no police chief.  The system was created in 1985, one of the earliest “shall issue” laws . . .

The loophole in the shall issue law has lead to an effective campaign to reform it by restoring the legal right to carry concealed without a permit. The earliest ban on concealed carry in Maine that I could find, was passed in 1967. That’s consistent with a peak in Second Amendment infringements that occurred while Lyndon Johnson was president.

If Maine passes constitutional carry, it would join Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, Arkansas, and Kansas. Mississippi recently passed a bill that has been characterized as “90% constitution carry.”

Maine came within one vote of passing constitutional carry in 2013. Majorities of both houses are signed on as sponsors of the current bill, L.D. 652 which has strong grassroots support. The governor has a record as a Second Amendment supporter.

Of course, the bill is not without opposition. Bloomberg money, in the form of ads paid for by the Bloomberg-funded groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Maine’s chapter of Moms Demand Action are having an impact.  From

Maine’s law enforcement community split over the issue, with Maine State Police supporting an amended version of the bill and the Maine Chiefs of Police Association actively opposing the measure. Meanwhile, the national group Everytown for Gun Safety and the Maine chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America have blanketed several of the state’s major news publication websites – including the Portland Press Herald’s – with ads urging citizens to tell legislators to oppose the bill.

The Legislature’s Criminal Justice Committee voted not to pass the bill 7-3.  The Bloomberg-funded ads provided cover for a Democrat member of the criminal justice committee to vote against the bill, even though she was a co-sponsor:

The full Legislature has no obligation to adopt the committee’s majority recommendation. And with 96 of the Legislature’s 186 members listed as co-sponsors of the bill, supporters could try to pass the bill in the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democratic-controlled House. But committee testimony or pressure from constituents could prompt lawmakers to change sides on the issue. For instance, Rep. Charlotte Warren, D-Hallowell, is listed among the co-sponsors, but voted against the bill in the Criminal Justice Committee.

L.D. 652 is far from dead. The bill’s sponsor, energetic Senator Eric Brakey, R-Aubin, said that the setback was expected. The chief obstacle, of course is the Democrat-controlled House, with a Democrat majority of  80 out of 151 seats. The bill has 81 co-sponsors in the House, however. While Senator Brakey seems competent and persuasive, Michael Bloomberg’s advertising money may sway enough of the Democrat leadership to kill the bill. We’ll be watching

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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  1. Incremental restoration of the God-given rights, recognized in the Bill of Rights, and in this case the Second Amendment guarantees are necessary and we must all be supportive. It is a shame that we all cannot read with understanding the words of the Second Amendment, but most leftist judges, and in this case a leftist billionaire and his subjects are all graduates of the failed and failing government education system.

  2. Nobody wants to take you guns. Literally nobody is suggesting that…we just want to make sure you can never carry it, never load it, never take it out of a locked safe, and never shoot it. We agree that only gun nuts would oppose these common sense reasonable restrictions. We have asked for a “nation conversation” on these topics, but the other side will not engage us on our comment disabled youtube channels and comment deleted facebook pages because nobody could disagree with these policies.

    Brought to you by the Actions Speak Louder Than Words Department of MDA and Everytown

  3. Since he bought New York City in 2001, little Mikey Bloomberg has figured out that America is for sale — and it’s a lot cheaper than NYC. And every time he buys a state for peanuts, he laughs his ass off.

  4. Sen. Eric Brakey R-Auburn

    I’m glad you mentioned Rep. Warren. She experienced some hefty pressure to vote against the bill in committee. Very disappointing. Also, for all practical purposes the committee was split 7-6, 3 republicans were not present and even though they didn’t record their vote, they are in support.

    The bill goes before the senate, probably before the end of next week. IIRC, the bill will be presented within two reports from the committee,- we like to do thinks differently here – a majority report with an ought not to pass and a minority report with an ought to pass recommendation. It’s about to get loud.

    • Also, an interesting aside. The Maine’s police chief’s association, who are opposed to the bill, apparently provided Rep. Stan Gerzofsky, also opposed, a list of reasons for denial from a number of municipalities which he brought up and published in the committee. Well, according to section 2006 of Title 25, that data is confidential. Gun Owners of Maine has made the point and have gone so far as to request this exact data from both the state police and Portland police department. Both requests were denied pursuant to the statute listed above specifically in both denial letters. Like I said, it’s about to get loud.

  5. Everyone keeps putting Arkansas on that list. However, the previous AG disagreed, the current AG agrees. What will the next AG say? The bottom line is there have been no test cases in Arkansas.

    • Have you read the law that passed in Arkansas? I have. It was pretty black-and-white to me. Of course that never stops attorneys from engaging in verbal gymnastics to push forth any agenda they want.

      • Yes I have and I don’t agree that it is black and white. It gives an opening which has allowed various officials to say it does not allow open carry. There have been a few group demonstrations but nothing to really test it. Start wearing your gun belt & 6-gun in downtown Little Rock and Hot Springs and report back.

        Take a look at this.

        The point I am trying to make is articles like this one that keep pushing Arkansas as open carry like they are Wyoming or Az is potentially setting some folks up for a very bad surprise. This is the kind of screw up that can get you on the NICS.

  6. “The state is one of those which has has preserved open carry without government permission, ON PAPER, though that can be said of over 60% of the states.”

    Fixed that for you. On most places, yes, even 2A paradise Arizona, open carry (of either long guns or handguns) can get you hassled, ticketed, and arrested, regardless how the law reads. Open carry, in practical terms, is virtually nonexistent.

    Now, please spend the next twelve hours arguing that you open carry “all the time” without problems. You will surely persuade me with your personal, unverifiable anecdotal evidence.

    • “Open carry, in practical terms, is virtually nonexistent.”

      Police policy to suppress open carry varies widely by region. As far as I can tell, if police policy is to hassle and/or illegally arrest open carriers in any given region, the remedy is to carry openly with a nearby friend who records any encounters on video camera and then sue the department for their violation. It seems like this only has to happen twice before police in the area finally “get the memo” and leave open carriers alone.

      At this point, it has happened so many times — with the open carriers ALWAYS winning their lawsuits — that activists in a region probably need do nothing more than simply contact their local police department and put them on notice. Send a letter to the local Sheriff and/or Police Chief via certified mail and inform them that their department will pay out thousands of dollars if they “detain” or arrest someone for openly carrying a firearm. And make sure to inform them that after the police department loses their lawsuit the open carriers will push for federal prosecution of Title 42 U.S. Code Section 1983 — Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law. That will put the arresting police officer in prison for up to 10 years and include thousands of dollars in fines against the arresting officer.

      The local police stopped “playing nice” long ago. It is time that we stop “playing nice”.

    • I have not heard of open carriers being hassled by police in Arizona for years, let alone arrested. As you claim that this happens, let us see even anecdotal evidence of it, more recently than say, 5 years ago.

  7. so the first amendment covers cell phone conversations , computer emails, electronic billboards and more. but the second amendment means muskets only?? my first amendment rights follow me through every state but my second amendment rights are dependent upon where i live? SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED !!!

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