Drugs flow into Maine, but dealers looking for guns

(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

Maine is one of the safest states in the entire nation. It also happens to be one of the rare states in the Northeast that hasn’t guzzled gallons of gun control Kool-Aid. That’s not a coincidence, either.

However, despite the relatively low crime rate, things aren’t all peachy-keen there.

They’ve got a problem with illegal drugs flowing in. It also seems that drug dealers are looking for guns for on their way out.

When out-of-state drug dealers travel to rural Maine, they are often looking for customers and guns, police say.

Sometimes the dealers buy firearms off their clientele. Other times they trade drugs for them. Often the guns are stolen. The firearms are considered a necessity in their violent line of work, and are taken back to other Northeast states where many dealers live.

A few years ago, much of the drug trade in rural Maine involved pharmaceutical pills or small meth labs, which either were already in Maine legally or were made in Maine, according to police. But as more illegal drugs have been brought into the state by gangs based elsewhere, the role of guns has increased in Washington County and other parts of Maine, where drug overdoses have hit record highs and drug-related violence has been on the rise.

Dealers have found they can charge more for their drugs in rural Maine than in more populated areas where opioids and other substances are easier to get — and that it often is easier to obtain guns here than in other states with stricter laws.

Undoubtedly, this will be used to justify gun control in Maine, but that would be kind of missing the point.

See, it’s already illegal to be a habitual drug user and possess firearms. Even those using cannabis lawfully in their states run into this. They are often expected to turn in their guns because marijuana is illegal under federal law, even if legal at the state level.

So new gun control isn’t going to have quite the same impact some might be led to believe.

What’s generally happening is that people are either lying to buy guns or, more likely, stealing them and trading them from drugs.

As such, it’s unlikely new regulations would accomplish all that much.

But it’s a prime example of how dealing with the root of the problem would be so much more effective. After all, if you deal with drug addiction, there are no addicts to steal guns and trade them for drugs. It’s not exactly rocket science at this point.

Sure, it’s easier said than done, but we’ve been dealing with drug addiction for decades at this point. We should have learned a thing or two.

Yet another takeaway from this, though, is that criminals are going to find a way to get guns. In this case, drug dealers are trading their product for guns, guns which they likely turn around and sell for an even higher profit or hold onto for their own use.

All in violation of the gun control laws in Maine or elsewhere that we’re told are essential to prevent exactly what’s happening.