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New gun ban proposal coming to Maine Legislature in 2020

Rep. Victoria Morales (D – South Portland) poses for a picture with Governor Janet Mills at a bill signing in May of 2019. Morales is proposing a bill to ban “assault style weapons” in 2020. Photo: Victoria Morales in the Maine House Facebook page.

AUGUSTA – Rep. Victoria Morales (D – South Portland) is proposing a bill to ban so-called “assault style weapons” in the Maine Legislature’s second legislative session. The bill, titled, “An Act To Prevent Mass Shootings in Maine by Banning Assault-style Weapons has been assigned the Legislative Request number LR 2953 and listed by the office of the Maine Revisor of Statutes for the 2020 legislative session.

There is no bill text as of the writing of this article, but the phrase “assault style weapons” has been adopted recently by anti-gun activists as they seek to expand the scope of firearms they propose to ban. Rep. Morales famously made news in May of 2019 when she told the Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee that gun control laws were justified because seeing a man with his hand in his pocket scared her.

Morales has been on the record for several anti-gun proposals during her time in the Maine Legislature, even cosponsoring another bill that sought to ban other guns in 2019.

A similar example of the use of the description of firearms Morales is employing the title of her bill came recently when former Vice President and Presidential candidate Joe Biden said at a campaign stop in Iowa, “The idea that we don’t have elimination of assault type weapons, magazines that can hold multiple bullets in them is absolutely mindless,” said Biden. “It is no violation of the Second Amendment. It’s uh, it’s just a bow to the special interests of the gun manufacturers and the NRA. It’s got to stop.”

The changing terminology gives lawmakers who seek to ban firearms wiggle room to propose bans on firearms with certain accessories, magazine styles or capacities or other features. Sometimes a black plastic accessory added to a traditional hunting rifle is all that is needed for gun control advocates to declare a firearm an “assault style weapon” that should be banned.

Maine’s Constitution is stronger than the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution on gun rights, a restriction that anti-gun lawmakers often fail to acknowledge.

In 1987, Maine voters approved an amendment of Article I, § 16 of the Maine Constitution to read “Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.”

There are other gun control proposals in the works for the upcoming session of the Maine Legislature as well. Follow Maine Examiner on Facebook to stay up to date.

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