Political fallout continues in the wake of the October mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, as U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is reportedly in the process of drafting legislation—with the involvement of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine—which apparently will allow military authorities in some cases to intervene in cases like that of the killer.
According to Maine Public Radio, Independent Sen. Angus King has also introduced legislation “regulation” so-called “assault-style weapons” by requiring them to have fixed magazines with limits of 10 rounds for rifles and 15 rounds for handguns.
The October rampage left 18 people dead at two different locations in Lewiston. A two-day manhunt finally found the suspected killer, Robert Card, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
WBUR News is reporting that members of victims’ families and some of the 13 survivors of the mass shooting “are speaking out in favor of stricter gun control laws.” The report noted how police had recovered “several firearms” owned by Card, including what were described as “a high-capacity, semi-automatic Ruger AR-10 rifle and a Smith & Wesson AR-15-style rifle.” The guns had been legally purchased, which is why some Maine citizens to call for a ban on such firearms.
News Center Maine reported that a small delegation of Maine citizens flew last week to Washington, D.C. to ask for solutions. Among the group were people directly linked to the shooting. One man had been wounded and survived; others had family members killed. One interesting revelation in the story was the author’s apparent lack of knowledge of firearms, as there were references to “high-powered weapons” in describing the firearms King’s legislation would restrict. His bill is dubbed the “GOSAFE.Act.”
According to 92Moose news, gun rights advocate David Trahan believes the system failed by not disarming Card after he showed signs of emotional problems long before the Oct. 25 shooting. Maine has a “yellow flag” law but there appear to have been a series of missteps which might have allowed the suspect to remain in possession of firearms. One reason for the group flight to Washington, DC was reportedly to seek an investigation into the Army Reserve, to which Card belonged.
As noted by WBUR, “With a long tradition of gun ownership and hunting, Maine has some of the least restrictive gun laws in New England. But in reaction to the shootings, some state lawmakers plan to press for stricter gun control when the Legislature convenes in January.”
But the question nobody seems to be asking is whether any of the proposed measures would have prevented the October mayhem, or similar attacks in the future. That question must be asked, and satisfactorily answered, or Maine gun owners likely will not support new legislation.