Huge news out of Maine, where the state’s Legislative Council, comprised of 10 lawmakers from both parties and legislative chambers, met this week to decide what bills would heard in the legislative session beginning in early January. Anti-gun moms may have demanded action by lawmakers in Maine, but they’re not happy with the action taken by legislators. There were seven gun control bills submitted by several lawmakers, and the Legislative Council rejected every single one of them.
The gun bills rejected by the council were proposals meant to improve school safety and create penalties for unsafe gun storage. Another bill that would prohibit guns at daycare centers and other child care facilities was tabled for reconsideration in November.
A bill that would have banned the distribution of assault weapons without proper authority was defeated on a 4-6 vote while another that would have required all gun owners to buy liability insurance for their weapons was defeated unanimously.
Other bills that were rejected sought to redefine machine guns and ban assault-style weapons outright. Also rejected was a Republican proposal that would allow retired law enforcement officers who are cleared by the federal government to carry concealed firearms on school grounds.
Gun control activists in Maine were hoping that with a Democrat in the governor’s mansion and Democrats in control of both the House and the Senate, their legislative agenda would be front and center next year. Instead, they’re now complaining that a small group of politicians is putting politics ahead of public safety.
“Every other day, a person in Maine dies from a gunshot, meanwhile a small group of legislators today blocked gun safety legislation from even being discussed in 2020,” said Nacole Palmer, a volunteer with Maine chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The policies raised in the council are backed by evidence and can save lives, but our lawmakers let politics stand in the way. We’re grateful to those who defended public safety in Maine, but we fear the results of today’s vote will have deadly consequences.”
One thing that’s worth pointing out about that Moms Demand Action press release is that it doesn’t mention the “assault weapons” bans or the mandatory liability insurance policies. Part of the current effort to portray the anti-gun movement as being about “gun safety” is to not talk much in public about banning semi-automatic rifles, even while pushing legislation to do exactly that. That’s why no gun control group has been out there vocally backing Beto O’Rourke’s gun ban and compensated confiscation idea, but have said things like “we need to see where the voters are on this” instead. They’re publicly pushing things like “universal background checks” and “red flag” laws, but they’re still just as committed to sweeping gun bans as they’ve ever been.