Maine’s Republican lawmakers scored a victory on Thursday by rejecting a bill that would have added a three-day waiting period on receiving a legally purchased firearm.
“Year after year, we’ve seen extreme gun control policies pushed by out-of-state organizations that seek to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Mainers,” said Senate Republican Leader Trey Stewart (R-Aroostook) in a GOP statement Thursday.
“Today, Maine Senate Republicans stood firm and led the effort to defeat these extreme proposals,” Stewart said.
LD 60, “An Act to Require a 72-hour Waiting Period After the Sale of a Firearm,” would have mandated a delay of three days before an individual who lawfully purchased a firearm could receive it.
The bill also would have imposed a $200 to $500 fine for the first violation of the waiting period, and a $500 to $1,000 fine for subsequent violations.
The Senate killed LD 60 after an “Ought to Pass as Amended” motion failed by a vote of 11 to 24 on Thursday. That followed a Tuesday vote in the House where Republicans were able to swing enough votes from Democrats in more conservative districts.
“There is no evidence to show a causation between waiting periods and a reduction in violent crime and suicides,” the GOP Senators said in a statement Thursday. “Instead, the measure would have simply denied someone the ability to buy a firearm for urgent self-defense reasons.”
Another bill passed in the same session, LD 22, prohibits the sale or transfer of firearms to a person who is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm.
The Republican Senators praised the bipartisan effort to pass LD 22, which they said will “actually address the issue of violent crime rather than punish law abiding gun owners.”
The bill, passed by the Senate Thursday, will make the straw purchase of a firearm a Class D crime under state law.
A straw purchase is when someone unable to pass a federal background check to purchase a firearm under their own name uses a proxy buyer who can pass the background check to purchase the firearm for them.
“As a law enforcement officer, I stand ready to address real solutions to the root causes of violent crime and suicide in Maine. However, extreme gun control proposals that only burden law-abiding Mainers do not do either,” said Sen. Matt Harrington (R-York), the Senate Republican Leader on the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.
“Today, I am pleased that the Maine Senate continued to protect our strong tradition of safe and responsible gun ownership,” Sen. Harrington said.
“There’s still more extreme legislation in the pipeline that will only affect law-abiding gun owners,” Harrington said. “I encourage reaching out to your legislator to oppose those extreme measures.”