Maine: Session Adjourns Sine Die from 2024 Session

Gun Rights

Late Friday night, the Maine Legislature adjourned sine die from the 2024 second session. Gun owners can breathe a sigh of relief now that this session, mired with controversy and political games, has come to a close. Despite a massive push by New York Billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his political apparatus to pass sweeping anti-gun legislation, NRA members, gun rights supporters, and pro-gun lawmakers were able to block the majority of these gun control demands. A summary of the major bills of note are below:

Defeated:

LD 2283 was a last-minute submission by Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross (D-Portland) to replace Maine’s Yellow Flag law with a more extreme Bloomberg-style Red Flag law. If passed, LD 2283 would have removed protective barriers and streamlined the process for government officials to strip you of your Second Amendment rights without due process. Gun rights supporters successfully blocked this bill from receiving a floor vote. 

LD 2086, introduced by leading gun-grabbing politician Sen. Anne Carney, would have created a backdoor ban on commonly owned firearms and firearm parts by redefining a “machine gun” to include any semi-automatic firearm that includes parts that can “increase the rate of fire.” This poorly written bill attempted to sneak a so-called “rapid-fire modification ban” past Mainers in a bill completely unrelated to firearm parts. As written, this bill would have banned legally and commonly owned firearm parts used for training, hunting, or self-defense, and could be utilized to ban shotguns and other firearms capable of firing birdshot or snake shot. This bill was vetoed by Governor Mills. The veto was sustained in the Maine Senate. 

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LD 1696 would have created a “course of action” against firearm manufacturers and retailers whose firearms are used in criminal activity. This “course of action” attempted to evade the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which protects manufacturers from being held responsible for third-party misuse. Just like it is unreasonable for an auto retailer to be held liable when a driver harms someone with their vehicle, it is unreasonable for firearm manufacturers and retailers to be held liable when their products are used in a crime. This bill was defeated in the Maine Senate.

Passed:

LD 2238 delays Second Amendment rights by imposing a three-day waiting period before an individual may receive a firearm that they lawfully purchase, with limited exemptions. There is no evidence that waiting periods reduce violent crime, instead this law simply denies the right of self-defense to abuse victims or any individual facing an imminent threat. Additionally, waiting periods could destroy Maine’s hunting tourism industry because guides will be unable to provide hunters with firearms and local firearm dealers will be unable to sell and transfer firearms in a timely manner. This bill was passed in both chambers and allowed to go into law by Governor Janet Mills. To see how your local lawmaker voted, click HERE.

Pro-gun activists in Maine have announced they will be launching a legal challenge against the law. To learn more about the legal challenge, click HERE.

LD 2224 expands Maine’s Yellow Flag laws and implements the first steps toward Universal Background Checks in Maine. This law requires all “advertised” sales to be subject to background checks regardless of the relationship between the buyer and the seller. Additionally, this law changes the criminal code to create a felony for individuals who “recklessly” transfer a firearm to a prohibited individual. This differs from the previous law, which required the transferer to “knowingly or intentionally” transfer a firearm to a prohibited individual. This change is an attempt to require a background check on all transfers because not doing so puts law-abiding gun owners at risk of becoming felons for the simple act of transferring a firearm to a family member, friend, or neighbor.

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