The Maine chapter of Moms Demand Action, a grassroots initiative of Everytown for Gun Safety, released a statement applauding the enactment of two important gun safety bills that had recently passed through the Maine State Legislature. One bill, LD 759, promotes secure storage by holding irresponsible gun owners accountable if they negligently leave a loaded firearm unsecured in their home (or another place under their control) and a child gains access to the weapon and uses or discharges it. The other, LD 1392, will help ensure the state of Maine collects data on gun violence to help lawmakers and the public better understand and address the issue. Both bills were enacted without signature from Governor Janet Mills.
“These bills will play an important role in reducing gun violence in our state,” said Sue Repko, a volunteer with the Maine chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Storing guns securely away from children is proven to reduce rates of unintentional shootings and teen suicide, and having published data about the state’s gun violence problem will help better address the state’s prevention needs. This could not have been accomplished without the tireless work of legislators in the Gun Safety Caucus, under the leadership of Rep. Vicki Doudera.”
“Maine is known as a safe state, and in many ways we are,” said Rep. Vicki Doudera, of the Maine House of Representatives. “But sadly, we are not immune from gun violence. As recent tragic incidents have shown, unsecured, loaded firearms in Maine homes with kids pose a lethal threat. I’m very grateful to the many mothers, fathers, educators, medical professionals and other advocates from around the state who made their voices heard and worked tirelessly with me on this measure. Collecting data on firearm fatalities and injuries is also critically important. I applaud my fellow legislators in the House and Senate for taking a stand on the side of safety by passing these two bills.”
“Gun violence is a public health issue. Just like all other public health concerns, we need specific, up-to-date data in order to effectively address it. I introduced LD 1392 because, currently, lawmakers don’t have the data they need about firearm accidents, suicides, hospitalizations and homicides in Maine, including those resulting from domestic violence,” said Rep. Lori Gramlich, of the Maine House of Representatives. “I am so thankful to my colleagues in the Maine Legislature, advocates and members of the public for all their work on this legislation. Now that there will be annual reports from the Maine CDC about firearm fatalities and hospitalizations, lawmakers will have more information about ways to prevent gun violence in Maine.”
About the Bills:
- LD 759 amends Maine’s child endangerment law, making it illegal to negligently store a loaded unsecured firearm in one’s home (or other premises under their control) if a child accesses and uses or discharges the weapon.
- LD 1392 mandates reporting of data relating to firearm deaths and injuries as part of Maine’s annual public health reports to the legislature. It includes homicides, domestic violence, suicides, unintentional shootings and firearm injuries.