Bill to allow guns in State House advances, despite rising security

Posted April 17, 2011, at 11:23 a.m.
Last modified April 18, 2011, at 10:59 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill that would allow guns in the Maine State House has been narrowly endorsed by a legislative committee, even as efforts continue to bolster security in the Capitol.

The proposal sponsored by Republican Rep. Dale Crafts of Lisbon would allow concealed-weapon permit holders to bring guns into the State House. Maine Today Media says the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted 7-4 to recommend passage of the bill on Friday, setting the stage for floor debate.

Supporters say gun owners have a right to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms even in state buildings. Opponents say the bill doesn’t fix any problem. A Republican leader points out that schoolchildren come to the State House all the time.