Skip to comments.Bill to ban assault weapons dead until 2007 (Maine)
Posted on 05/17/2005 6:57:23 AM PDT by Fido969
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Bill to ban assault weapons dead until 2007
By PAUL CARRIER, Portland Press Herald Writer
Copyright © 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc. E-mail this story to a friend
AUGUSTA State lawmakers have refused to outlaw so-called assault weapons, but the measure's sponsor, Democratic Sen. Ethan Strimling of Portland, has vowed to rework the bill and submit it to the next Legislature if he is re-elected in 2006. The assault-weapons ban was the first of three major gun-control bills to work its way through the Legislature this session; two others are still under review. The remaining bills involve background checks for prospective gun buyers and parental consent for young buyers.
The weapons ban would have made it illegal to own, transfer or manufacture assault weapons, as well as .50-caliber rifles and ammunition. The bill would have replaced an expired federal ban on the manufacture of assault weapons, and would have been tougher.
The bill defined assault weapons to include a long list of specific guns, such as the AK-47, as well as other semi-automatic weapons that meet certain criteria, such as those with a detachable magazine and a folding stock.
Strimling initially tried to water down his own bill to protect existing gun manufacturers, such as Bushmaster Firearms of Windham, as well as current gun owners. But he later asked the Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee to kill the bill, which that panel did.
The House of Representatives learned by letter Monday that the committee had unanimously rejected the proposed ban. A unanimous committee vote against a bill automatically kills it, eliminating the need for floor votes in the House and Senate.
Under legislative rules, the Legislature cannot take up the issue again next year, forcing supporters to wait until 2007 before they can resurrect it. Strimling said Monday that he wants to rewrite the bill and ''generate a little more grass-roots support from folks'' before he asks the Legislature to revisit the issue.
Gun owners turned out in force to oppose the bill when the legislative committee held a public hearing on May 2, arguing in part that the ban would be unnecessary because there is no evidence that such weapons have been used to commit crimes in Maine since the 1930s. They also said that the weapons are used in competition, and that outlawing them would violate the state Constitution.
The few supporters of the ban who testified at the hearing countered that assault weapons allow shooters to quickly spray a large area with gunfire, posing a risk of multiple injuries or fatalities. Conceding that the ban was not proposed in response to an existing problem, they said it could prevent acts of mass murder in the future.
''I'm disappointed'' that the Legislature has killed the bill, said Cathie Whittenburg of Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence, which backed the proposed ban, but she acknowledged that ''the bill needed more crafting'' to protect Bushmaster Firearms and to ensure that the ban would not apply to current gun owners.
Jeff Weinstein of the Maine Gun Owners Association said he anticipated that the Legislature would kill the bill because there is no need for a ban. ''There was no factual substance to the arguments made by the proponents of the bill.''
He said Strimling's push to scale back the ban by exempting existing manufacturers and owners was ''just simply window dressing'' on a bad bill.
A gun-control bill that is still working its way through the Legislature this year would require unlicensed sellers who set up shop at gun shows to do background checks on prospective buyers, just as licensed dealers must do now.
Also pending is a bill that would require parental consent before anyone younger than 18 could buy a rifle or a shotgun. That bill initially called for a 10-day waiting period before anyone younger than 22 could buy any gun, but it has been watered down to a parental-consent bill for the youngest buyers of long guns.
Staff Writer Paul Carrier can be contacted at 622-7511 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) He is a fool (2) He's willing to stand up to the big bad gun nuts.
That probably will get him reelected by the nuts and berries Portland constituents he represents.
Yeah, like my Ruger .22
Boy, I feeeeeel safer already.
Ugh! These "unlicensed sellers" the gun grabbers refer to are selling TEE SHIRTS, JERKY, and HATS. They are NOT gun sellers, yet they try to scare people into beliving there selling guns illegally.
Maine may be a Blue state, but only around the cities...the loggers and other woodland denisens will not stand for it.
Well, it ended as I figured it would: bill goes down in flames, author promises he'll be back next session. This is not unlike the situation in NH except the name is Coen instead of Strimling. Eventually, Mr. Strimling will marginalize himself by the narrow view he takes of his duties as senator...just like Mr. Coen already has.
" That probably will get him reelected by the nuts and berries Portland constituents he represents."
If we don't somehow stop the voter fraud and election rigging in the City (Portland, I suspect, is only one of them), then they sure as Chicago will!
Did anyone happen to notice how Brennan stole the Senate majority a few years back when the Post office conveniently "delayed" sufficient absentee votes in the mail to have turned the election to VamVakias (R) until the polls closed and they were disqualified? Some of them had been laying around, apparently, for up to 10 days when normal delivery time is 2 to 3. Return addresses, we are told by reliable wittnesses to the re-count fiasco (where votes for Rs in blue ink were thrown out while those for Ds in red ink were counted), all return addresses (opening the envelopes was forbidden and they were destroyed unopened after the re-count) matched registered Republican Voters according to Registration lists which are available to Party Chairs gratis.
And what's this about City Clerks locking themselves in a room with covered windows in the basement of City Hall with a bunch (if not all) of the ballots following an election?
Has anyone thought to look into this bilge?
(Well; actually, a few of us have...)
Can anything be done about it?
Will anyone ever be held accountable?
Probably not. They have the power, you see; we don't.
So, I think that we might as well just get used to the idea that the vote of Portland (as well as Lewiston) will be a foregone conclusion in perpetuity.
And as most of the "blue" (I rather think of Kerry States as "Red" personally) NE States clearly demonstrate, as the cities go, so go the States.
Yeah; it sox - but that, i have observed, is just how it is.
Just getting used to it has been difficult for me, though...
How about you?
Well, Baldassi's approval rating in down in the high 30's, this guy is pullung a Gray DAvis as far as I can see. He has been holding the line, generally, on taxes, but he is only keeping our place warm as the state with the highest tax burden in the country,
Too bad Maine doesn't have a recall provision.
Don't worry, the dims have dug themselves into a fine hole now.
I think we all know by now that the Anti-Nazis want them ALL - just like they did in England. At least banned from the "little people", of course.
And they never let a little defeat like this get them down; they WILL be back.
Amazing, isn't it?
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