Two gun safety bills would save lives

Maine is successfully emerging from a public health emergency, the COVID pandemic, because we are strong people who bonded together to keep everyone safe. We wore masks and kept our distance from others, but more important, we helped each other. We shopped for those who couldn’t go out and we volunteered at vaccination sites and food pantries. Currently we are facing another public health crisis — gun violence. In an average year, 146 Maine people die by guns, with 89% of these deaths being suicide, and this number has been steadily increasing in the last 10 years. There are several gun safety bills that address this problem currently in legislative committees. L.D. 999 or “Darien’s Law,” is An Act Regarding Background Checks for the Sale of Firearms. Under federal law guns bought at licensed dealers must go through a background check but guns bought through personal sales don’t require such checks. L.D. 999 would close this loophole. Background checks are supported by 82% of registered Maine voters. Background checks work. They keep people who shouldn’t have guns from getting them while only creating a small inconvenience for gun buyers and isn’t a small inconvenience worth it to save a life. L.D. 1392, An Act Directing the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to Release Annually Public Health Data Regarding Certain Fatalities and Hospitalizations, would create an annual reporting duty for the Maine CDC regarding firearms injuries and deaths. Currently there is no central location of data and some […]

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