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Bishop Lane speaks up for gun sense

Bishop Lane speaks up for gun sense

Bishop Stephen Lane of the Diocese of Maine writes that a few easy fixes to his state’s gun laws could save lives. In an oped in the Bangor Daily News, Lane mentions the work of the 52-member Bishops Against Gun Violence group within the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops. According to its website the groups has “come together to explore means of reducing the appalling levels of gun violence in our society, and to advocate for policies and legislation that save lives.”

Lane writes:

In the 2013 legislative session, I supported LD 1240, a bill that would have required background checks for gun sales outside of those sold to family members. The bill, which also tightened restrictions on purchases by those who have been treated involuntarily for mental illness and required firearm safety training prior to sales, was passed by both houses before being vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage. In the next legislative session, it is my hope that faith leaders and civic leaders can join together to support the reintroduction of that bill or one like it.

While Maine statute allows local law enforcement discretion around the issuance of concealed weapon permits as well as the inspection of gun dealers, there are many more laws enacted in other states that would help to protect our citizens. Several laws are low-hanging fruit in terms of public safety. Here are a few: Anyone who buys a gun providing false information (enacted in 26 states) or a gun dealer who sells a gun without a proper background check (enacted in 24 states) face criminal charges. In fewer than 10 states, criminal charges are made against anyone who buys a gun for someone who is otherwise ineligible to buy one legally. Fewer than 20 states have a law on the books that makes it a criminal offense to leave a firearm unsecured in the presence of a child. I believe Maine should be one of them.

Do you agree that such laws should be passed?


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Richard III

My two cents is that nothing suggested herein is unreasonable, however, America is awash in firearms, is very politically divided and we have a President in office who scares the pants off of a lot of white people, especially those who think he’s a Muslim and that he wants to re-establish the Caliphate and force Sharia law down our throats. Combine that with a lot of gun owners who don’t simply don’t trust the government to ever tell us the truth, that gathers every kind of information it can collect and see a political class in Washington that gives its’ allegiance to the highest bidder and I can guarantee that reasonable gun legislation will never happen in this country again unless we have some more very traumatic political murders take place, remembering the Kennedy’s and MLK, otherwise just get used to it and stop listening to the news. Oh, one more thing, we have a very broken, almost non-existent mental health system to boot.

Richard Warren

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