A new Senate bill that would “regulate” gas-operated semiautomatic firearms, introduced Thursday by Maine Independent Sen. Angus King and New Mexico Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich, has quickly drawn opposition from the National Shooting Sports Foundation and National Rifle Association.
WABI News is reporting King’s bill includes a 10-round magazine limit and outlaw bump stocks and “Glock switches.” The bill, said WABI, would also “create a voluntary buyback program allowing people who already own guns and magazines banned under the bill to turn them in and get paid.”
Gun rights activists refer to such “buybacks” as “compensated confiscation.”
The Portland Press-Herald has been covering the controversy since a deranged killer murdered 18 people at two different locations in Lewiston back in October.
But NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Larry Keane said in a statement to the media, “The legislation introduced by Senators King and Heinrich is openly defiant of the rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. There is no path forward for legislation of this nature that would deprive law-abiding citizens the ability to lawfully possess the firearm of their choosing and the full spectrum of their Second Amendment rights.
“This legislation,” he continued, “is a knee-jerk reaction to a travesty for which the American public is still demanding answers as to why the Lewiston murderer, who clearly showed signs of mental instability and professed to violent threats, was allowed by state and federal agencies to continue to possess firearms. Depriving law-abiding citizens of their Constitutional rights for the criminal acts of a depraved individual doesn’t make our communities safer.”
Randy Kozuch, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, concurred.
“This legislation blatantly violates the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court rulings by banning the very types of firearms and magazines most often utilized by Americans for defending themselves and their families,” Kozuch said. “This bill unjustly and improperly places the full burden of the law on law-abiding residents, while doing nothing to take guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. The NRA opposes this legislation and will fight to protect the constitutional freedoms of all law-abiding Americans.”
King insisted during a press event Thursday that the legislation would not infringe upon Second Amendment rights.
According to WABI, Maine Republican Party Chairman Joel Stetkis quickly turned thumbs down. He released a statement accusing King of “attacking the rights of the people he’s getting paid a lot of money to represent.”
“Mainers should speak out against this power grab,” Stetkis said. “This bill will not pass for two reasons: Because Angus King is a terrible legislator with no accomplishments, and because attacking the rights of Mainers who want to defend themselves has always been a bad idea. It’s more likely that Maine gets no snow this winter than Angus King passes any substantial legislation. He should resign and let someone who will do literally anything to help Mainers run for his seat.”