AUGUSTA – One of the more contentious referendum questions last November was Question 3. You remember, that the was the one that wanted more intensive background checks for gun sales.
Well the two sides on that issue already are drawing battle lines for proposed bills that would deal with gun control in one manner or another.
The “Gun Owners of Maine” members blaze orange t-shirts dueled with the bright red shirts worn by the “Maine Chapter of Moms Demand Action,” Thursday morning in the corridors of the capitol.
Before they were unleashed on lawmakers, gun control advocates were taught how to present their case for stricter gun laws
Among the bills dealing with guns this session is a proposal to allow 18 to 20-year-olds to carry concealed weapons.
MDA member Paula reed stated “Because that means 18, 19, 20-year-olds can go buy a handgun without having a background check, no training, and then no-permitting process, and carry it concealed.”
Supporters of this bill said it just brings the constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon to all adults, not just those over the age of 21.
GOM President Todd Tolhurst said “Well we’re here today in response to Moms Demand Action, the Michael Bloomberg-fund anti-gun group that is here today to lobby for their anti-gun agenda/ and we’re here to provide a counterbalance to that.”
These bills are slated for public hearings March 17th.
Tolhurst added “We’ll definitely be here. There are 11 different gun bills, some we oppose, some we support. And we will be here to speak to all of them.”
Both sides had a nearly identical message for legislators.
“We vote. We want to get our voices heard. And it’s very important. This is just the beginning.” Reed, said.
Opponents of these bills say this is just a continuation of the campaign against guns, while supporters say they only want to make gun use safer.