AUGUSTA – A bill proposed by Rep. Victoria Doudera (D – Camden) would redefine what a “machine gun” is under state law. The Maine Legislature has attempted, without success, to pass more than a dozen laws that would impact Maine gun owners since the new Democrat majority was ushered in alongside Governor Janet Mills.
Rep. Doudera’s bill is one of a new group of proposals that will be considered by the Legislative Council on October 23. It is currently labeled LR 2829 “An Act To Amend the Definition of the Term “Machine Gun”” on the website of the Maine Revisor of Statutes.
Under current criminal code, unlawful
possession of a “machine gun” is considered a substantive offense and subject
to seizure and confiscation.
“Any machine gun possessed in violation of section 1051 is declared to be contraband and is subject to forfeiture to the State. Any law enforcement officer shall have the power to seize the same with due process.”
The definition of a “machine gun” subject to confiscation and seizure under state law is as follows:
“A weapon of any description, by whatever name
known, loaded or unloaded, which is capable of discharging a number of
projectiles in rapid succession by one manual or mechanical action on the
trigger or firing mechanism.”
By changing the definition of a “machine gun” to encompass more of the firearms owned by Mainers, Rep. Doudera’s proposal could also make those newly defined “machine guns” subject to confiscation and seizure, turning owners of those firearms into criminals under the new law.
Rep. Doudera’s proposal is subject to approval by a majority of the Legislature’s Legislative Council at their meeting on October 23. The council is comprised of the members of House and Senate leadership from both parties, with six Democrats and four Republicans. Senate President Troy Jackson Chairs the council, with Speaker Sara Gideon serving as Vice Chair.
Other bills related to guns that are
being proposed include a bill to require gun owners to carry liability insurance,
and a bill to ban so-called “assault type weapons” among others.
In all, nearly 400 new legislative proposals are expected to be considered by the Legislative Council on October 23.