November 22, 2017
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Comments for: Washington County sheriff: Maine’s concealed carry law ‘scares me to death’

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  • Anonymous

    Is there any news story Donnie Smith will not try to make himself a small part of?

    • Anonymous

      No! And the BDN is always happy to give him a voice!

  • Guest

    Careless people with guns not a good mix.

    • Anonymous

      No, it is a bad mix!
      The real travesty here is that
      “police issued him a summons for reckless conduct, a Class D misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and and a $2,000 fine”
      You don’t issue him a summons, you take his carry permit and his gun away IMMEDIATELY and then worry about how much to fine him.
      I’m for folks having carry permits and I’m against most gun control, but I have a 6 year old grandson that is mature enough to go into L.L.Bean’s bathroom by himself, do his business and wash his hands all by himself. I ain’t sure if he’s mature enough to not pick up a loaded, chambered handgun and pretend to be a cop, robber or a cowboy.
      Holy crap folks!!!
      Sadly this happens often? Hadn’t better happen twice with the same user! If it does, someone is sure as hell failing at their job!

      • It’s not about being mature enough, it’s about being taught what to do if and when a gun is found. Gun safety starts when they are old enough to hold a toy gun.

        • I’m not an advocate of ignorance is bliss, though it’s a shame that we even need to consider that guns are going to be “found” by little kids. Irresponsible adults should not shift their responsibilities to kids. :

          • Anonymous

            It’s a sad state of affairs when I have to introduce my 6 year old grandson to my revolver and explain it to him just so some forgetful moron doesn’t accidentally kill him or someone else.
            I still think the first thing you do is get the gun out of this guys hand, I don’t care how common it is or how easy it is to do, if you leave a loaded gun laying around you should give up your eight to carry it.

          • sorry ed i started teaching gun safety at 3, and really once they can walk and climb you must get it in their head if you have guns in the house. I raised my son who is now 11 that he must always respect and never touch unless he is with an adult. It is not sad to teach him about guns because there are so many on every tv show that he prob already knows what they have taught him time for you to teach him correctly

          • Anonymous

            That’s right: Parents should be responsible enough to teach their kids what to do if they find any kind of gun outside of the home, just as parents should be responsible enough to teach their kids not to talk with strangers.

          • Or inside the home?

      • Anonymous

        Then perhaps said six year old ought to be trained on the issue not to pick up a gun if he finds one. My child learned at age 4. He also learned that guns are not for pretending. This doesn’t minimize the mistake, but it is certainly a second round of defense against bad things happening.

    • Anonymous

      Espescially when they work for the government.

  • a dope boy

    Scares you ! Do you carry ? I do, and it scares me.

    /////////

    “It’s easy to forget a gun and create the potential for a dangerous situation”
    ______

    B.S. a.k.a. nonsense ! You’re either aware or your not. Don’t make excuses for it. Ever wonder how criminals can steal guns so easily, because the same people who are careless in public with guns are the same ones who are careless at home.

    And in the end it will be idiots like this doctor who get our gun rights curtailed. I need my carry & conceal permit because of the vulnerable position I find myself in every day.

    • Is that position related to your habit? ;)

      • a dope boy

        Which habit is that ?

        • Being a hopeless dope smoker of course! ;)

          • a dope boy

            You do realize that’s a comedy sketch to get you to think about your life’s choice I hope. (don’t take it personal)

          • Nope, didn’t realize it was intended as sarcasm. Should I be aware of this “sketch”? My pop culture knowledge is lacking to be sure.

            It was a lighthearted barb in any case.

    • Anonymous

      maybe you should rethink your life if you find yourself in a dangerous situation every day that requires you defend yourself with a concealed firearm

      • a dope boy

        I wish I could.

    • FrankC

      Just curious.. Social worker?

  • Anonymous

    Valid concerns. Worries me too.

    • Anonymous

      Those that seem fanatical about some perceived fear of losing their guns, cannot seem to handle someone having some legitimate concerns. No one is talking about taking their guns away but they head right there in their minds.

    • Anonymous

      Turnpike toll-collector.

  • Anonymous

    I pray that your constituency remembers how afraid you are of law abiding citizens during the next election. It is not like your highly trained force never made any mistakes.

    • Anonymous

      Good point — next time he comes up for election, vote for somebody who cares about second amendment rights.

      • Anonymous

        He never once said he did not care about second amendment rights. You are jumping over the edge.

  • Ansel Hazen

    I think that’s whole point from a gun ownership concealed carry standpoint. Start actin a bit more like responsible CIVIL human beings, treating each other with the respect they are due. Otherwise the one you dis may be packin’ and you’ll get what’s comin to ya.

    • Anonymous

      So dissing someone is valid justification for killing?

      • Ansel Hazen

        You might just shut yer hole and smile and say howdy neighbor now wouldn’t ya? And don’t we need a whole lot more of that these days.

  • Bright

    The Sheriff is the scary one. No work related discipline? Really? An employee has been charged with a crime yet he’d prefer to paint everyone with the same brush? And from this article it appears his right to carry was a direct result of his Sheriff’s Dept. employment. Smiths’ cavalier attitude toward persons carrying concealed firearms shows a disregard for holding people accountable, some law enforcer he is. Forgetting where your firearm is, is by no means a simple mistake, the statement that it is shows how some people (supposed professionals) who carry firearms everyday can become dangerously complacent disregarding their responsibility.

    • a dope boy

      Good point ! And if you think these so called professionals are idiots, what’s to be said about the general public !?
      Most who will play the lottery and buy beer before paying the rent.

      • Bright

        I by no means think that Smith represents Maine Law Enforcement in general, in fact I know better. I know many police officers who are very professional and while most seem to feel that concealed carrying people can complicate situation few think that it should not be allowed. In fact a significant number of handgun safety classes (necessary to apply for the CWP) are taught by active and retired police officers. Lets not forget that, regardless of what some extremist say, these people are American citizens that are just like the rest of us, some Republicans, some Democrats, some conservatives and even a few liberals.

        • a dope boy

          Well said ..

  • Anonymous

    “You know, you carry a gun, you’re probably gonna have to take it out of its holster, and this could very easily happen.”

    And if it does, hold the irresponsible gun owner responsible! As I have said since I first read this story, make an example out of this guy so the rest of us gun owner will think about it and, thus, lead to more responsible gun owners!

    • Anonymous

      How many times has any CCW person ever left their gun somewhere, where are the stats on that, this is just a story because of the CT shooting, the media is still trying to push their anti-gun agenda.

  • Anonymous

    There is now no question Sheriff Smith does not have all his facts straight. The most popular safety course is the NRA’s Hand Gun Safety Course which requires certified instructors and also requires each and every person who takes it to spend time on the range to become familiar with how to safely handle a pistol. I, for one, would like to know which courses he is talking about in Maine that do not require range time. I do not know of any. I am really beginning to think the sheriff of Washington County is more afraid of the 2nd Amendment and law abiding citizens. As for the person who left the gun behind, that is pure carelessness, inexcusable in my opinion. A blatant disregard for public safety and should no longer be allowed carry.

    • Anonymous

      There is one in Blue Hill that does not require range time. Anyone who would get a concealed weapons permit and not spend MANY an hour range time shouldn’t be holding a gun, IMO. I’m not required to spend range time to get my permit, but I sure as heck want to know my gun inside and out and can’t begin to comprehend why anyone out there would not want to do the same

      • a dope boy

        Here here !
        I know my gun better then I know my wife. (it has saved my life) All she does is spend money. (but I still love her)

        • Anonymous

          haha and you just might save her life someday too!

        • Anonymous

          “Hear, hear”. It’s a request for others to listen, not a request for your dog to come back.

    • Anonymous

      Thousands of people? Concealed weapons? Maine? 2012?

      Either there’s a whole lotta Maine people who didn’t spend enough time playing
      cowboy when they were growing up or there is a whole lotta paranoia out
      there.

      Aside from drug dealers, there are very very few people who will ever ever in their lives every have a justifiable reason to even draw a concealed weapon.

      I’m not saying concealed weapons permits should not be allowed. I am questioning why so many people think they need them.

      • Because when seconds count the police are only minutes away.

        • Anonymous

          Or it only takes a second to die and some feel when you die u are dead forever.

        • Anonymous

          depends where you live

          • Anonymous

            Bangor 0200 they are minutes away. Any town covered by Penobscot or the State Police are minutes away.

          • Anonymous

            Not really. The outlying towns that contract to the S.O. will be many minutes before a response is completed.

          • Nero Wolfe

            not really I was at mile marker 95 on the highway and it took the state cop 45 minutes to get to me.

          • Anonymous

            And that differs from my statement how?

            When you need an officer they are minutes not seconds away.

          • Anonymous

            The only time an officer is seconds away is a) if they live with you or b) if the happen to be driving by when you need them.

          • Anonymous

            and I think also depends on the company you keep! Straight and narrow, law abiding companions don’t need to protect themselves from each other!

          • Anonymous

            Right. it’s the non law-abiding people you need to protect yourself from.

          • Anonymous

            You think bad people only break in to the homes that deserve it?

          • Do you remember the elderly lady in Farmington who was murdered when a junkie broke into her house and stabbed her multiple times? Self defense doesn’t always go with the company you keep!

        • Anonymous

          In my neighborhood the police or sheriffs dept might only be HOURS away.

          • Anonymous

            Amen- I am a female, living alone in a very rural area. My neighbor across the road had a break-in just a few months ago. Luckily, she has an alarm system. As I tell my family, there’s a reason I’ve always had very large Shepherds of varying breeds. I realize a dog couldn’t do much if somebody was armed but it’s a great deterrent in most cases.

      • a dope boy

        It’s the pitch. Most of these people spouting off about their right to have guns learn to be paranoid before they even learn their abc’s.

        I carry, and I have pulled and used it. (and no I’m not a drug dealer or a cop) I didn’t kill the person, but I could have. Guns are a tool, unfortunately in incompetent hands quite dangerous.

        This week alone we’ve seen one cop shoot himself. Every month in Maine there are about 2-3 at home who forget that chambered round while cleaning their manhood and shoot themselves.

        Of course out in public they’ll save your life. (cough cough)

        • Anonymous

          2-3 a month shoot themselves in Maine? Do tell. How about your source for this BS. Or are you just a troll?.

          Perfect nym BTW.

      • Michael Travers

        If you’ll tell everyone the exact day they’ll need a concealed weapon, I’m sure they’ll be happy to leave them home the rest of the time.

      • Nero Wolfe

        well first off if you are going to trash people get it right,it was cowboys and indians.

      • Tom Brown III

        I think the majority of us have a mindset, better safe than sorry.

        Drug dealers don’t have a justifiable reason to draw a concealed weapon, because they are criminals, and probably using their weapon in the aid of an illegal enterprise. Also owning a gun and *** amount of narcotics is an additional felony.

        It isn’t about people wanting to go out and get into a gun fight, the thought of that happening is very unsettling to most but we choose to be prepared for a worst case scenario instead of relying on the axiom “it probably will never happen to me”

        If there was a .00001% chance someone might try to kill you everyday and all you had to do to bring your odds of survival in that slim chance from 1 in 1000 to 1 in 10 was carry a gun you wouldn’t?

      • Anonymous

        Who are you to question what your fellow members of the community do?

      • Anonymous

        I would rather have my gun and not need it
        than need my gun, and not have it.

      • Anonymous

        There are so many places in Maine, most of Washington county, where a call to 911 will get a police officer to you in anywhere from 10 -20 minutes or more. We have excellent officers, and they will get to you just as fast as the laws of physics allow, but it’s a big county with a limited number of officers on duty.

        If the officer covering your area is 20 minutes away, you can’t ask an assailant to sit down, have a snack and wait for the officer.

        • Anonymous

          If you are in your own home, I don’t believe that you need a permit to have a gun, concealed or otherwise.

    • Anonymous

      FYI. I have a concealed permit that required me to take the safety course in 2008. I was not required to range time but it was offered. So unless the law has changed since then I don’t think your correct in the mandatory range time. On a note regarding this story I have never had to remove my gun to go to a restroom etc as I use a shoulder holster and have made it a habit to constantly check that my gun is secure in its holster. I am sure that it could happen to anyone to remove a gun and forget it such as the same is possible to lose a wallet. But I also believe the responsibility of being a safe gun carrier is to check and double check that weapon is secure 150% of the time. If the State has laws regarding CCW’s and those are legally met than it is not up to the Sheriff to determine how many is too many. Is the doctor responsible for his mistake? absolutely! But I believe I read he carries because of his position and I don’t see where he took a safety course. Maybe at the least refresher course (if he is required to carry for his position) for him is a good idea but until then a reassessment as to where he carries his weapon that is more secure than laying it on the back of a toilet.However, based on this incident I believe he has forfeited his right to carry and should not be allowed possession of his weapon unless acquitted of these charges. This easily could have turned into a tragic situation had a child found this gun and hurt himself or others based on a preventable occurrence. As far carrying until a few years ago I thought carrying was silly too until I was attacked in a road rage incident that very easily could have cost me my life and shortly thereafter I became a registered carrier under the advisement of my local police chief who, as I, was glad to get that second chance.

      • Anonymous

        Just a point, Maine does not require range time but the NRA does as part of their course.

      • Anonymous

        Very thoughtful post- Thanks!

    • Anonymous

      The Sheriff Smith forgot to mention the number of law enforcement officers who have left their service weapon on the back of a toilet or on the floor beside it.

      • Anonymous

        or shot the sheriff in the back

        • Anonymous

          or their leg.

    • Anonymous

      NRA is a gun industry lobby financed by the big gun business.They have zero interest in the safety of the citizens of this country.

      I think its supporters are either shareholders in the gun manufacturers or naive.

      • Anonymous

        Just keep thinking that. It’s your right.

      • Anonymous

        If that is so then why do they offer so many safe gun handling courses?

        • Anonymous

          Ever heard of self promotion? Thats why they offered these courses. These courses make the NRA seem like they are the source for everything in guns, you wouldnt no there is another course out there after you take there course. It is also a great way to get new people into the NRA.
          Plus the NRA isn’t dumb, they no that if there going to try to arm every person in this county, they better make it look like there doing something to keep people safe.

      • Anonymous

        Boy, talk about being naive!

      • Anonymous

        “financed by big gun business”…..uhmmm, the NRA has close to 4.5 Million dues paying members, if not more, and their numbers grow daily. If you would read a copy of their magazine instead of listening to Pierce Morgan or Bill Maher, you might get a glimpse of what they represent. Talk about “naive”. Troll.

        • pbmann

          The NRA gets more money from gun manufacturers than from it dues paying members, 64% of which think there should be more, not less, gun control.

          • Anonymous

            Cite on the 64% statistic, please.

          • FrankC

            I’ve also read that recently. makes sense, most NRA members are rational common sense type folk. However – see post

          • FrankC

            Pretty sure that the NRA gets less than 10% of it revenue from gun manufacturers in the form of advertising. You think they should advertise in THe New Yorker or Eating Well ? LOL

        • Anonymous

          Well from what I heard out of a HS Student Wed, it is no wonder people have no clue, I quote “We should be more like china” get rid of all the guns in the world and there will be no violence, what are they teaching these kids in school, the future looks scary.

        • Anonymous

          Listening to LaPierre is all the evidence one needs to think poorly of the NRA.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t forget my membership and donations. It is you who is naive

    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t call this doctor’s poor attention span a ‘blip’ on the radar screen of his career. I’d call it a red flag, warning all of us that he’s no longer capable of responsibly carrying a gun. He needs to be permanently disarmed. Now.

      His careless (or pre-senile?) behavior makes me think that gun ownership should be regulated in the same way that driver’s licenses are. Somebody needs to evaluate the ability of a gun owner to be smart.

      • Nero Wolfe

        so when you get in a car mishap we should take your drivers licence away they,by your logic anyhow.

        • Anonymous

          A kid can’t pick up my car and shoot himself in the head with it.

          • Anonymous

            But he can get in it and kill himself.

          • Anonymous

            Oh okay. I’ll make sure not to leave it in the bathroom unattended.

          • Anonymous

            If your kid or any kid can pick up any gun loaded or not, then that person is not a responsible gun owner, you can not regulate responsibility.

    • Tom Brown III

      well typical range time is 50 rounds. That isn’t enough to master the basics. Safely handling a pistol on the range and using one in a self defense incident are very far apart. People need stress drills, rapid fire drills, point blank draw and fire drills. I would have no qualms with a qualifying course similar to what police are required. If someone can’t achive an 75% hit rate at 12 feet they shouldn’t be carrying. Just like drivers permits, kids need a written test and road test.

      • Anonymous

        “If someone can’t achive an 75% hit rate at 12 feet they shouldn’t be carrying.”

        statistically, an attack will be within 5 feet.

        • Anonymous

          True. It usually is up close and personal. my 380 doesn’t leave my pocket when i use the bathroom.

          • Tom Brown III

            never liked pocket carry.

          • Anonymous

            Agree, and some of the new smaller guns have no safety, like the .380 I have, called an LCP.

        • Tom Brown III

          Please site those statistics I have never been able to find them. I have always trained at 3ft 12ft feet 25ft. anything under 12 feet might as well be point blank range as Srgt Tuller points out an average attacker can close 21ft in 1.5s.

          I was trying to illistrate that being able to make 3 in 4 shots at almost point blank range should be a minimum requirement because it is ez mode. It would stand to reason that if you can make those shots you should be proficient at ranges closer. 5 feet and under you are in a step and arms reach and will be shooting from the hip, which probably should also be included in a qualifying test.

        • Tom Brown III

          I guess what I am driving at is cops are required to qualify to carry firearms to protect themselves and others in public, why should civilians be any different?

          • Anonymous

            and yet a few months ago the NYPD wounded 9 bystanders by their reckless shooting.

            regardless, i’d rather have a way to fire back.

          • Anonymous

            Maybe because under the law officers don’t have a retreat requirement outside the home and mere mortals do.

      • Anonymous

        So former Marines should just be handed one when they come to live in the State.

        • Tom Brown III

          where did I say anything should just be handed something? Just because someone was a marine or a service member of any branch doesn’t automatically make them a crack shot. Marines are known for their marksmanship in boot, but that is with long guns, and this guy was a navy doctor, I doubt he regularly trained with service weapons.

          • Anonymous

            You didn’t say it I made that conclusion. As for Marine Marksmanship I managed expert with a .45 and sharpshooter with the 9mm. I hated the Berreta when they switched because the meat of my hand got caught in the magazine well when switching and cost me my expert badge. I still hold that grudge.
            All that being said I would think anyone who could show they had qualified recently with a pistol in the military should be able to show enough aptitude for the permit.

    • Anonymous

      Your facts are wrong, yet you have 77 likes, which means 77 people are wrong. There sheriff is right. I took my concealed weapons course this year and it required zero gun range time. You need to do a little more research.

      • Anonymous

        As I stated, there were no courses that I knew of. Now I do know there are courses that do not require range time. I fully feel that if a course does not require range time it should not be recognized for use in getting a concealed carry permit. Range time is so essential that it should be required of any course. If you are going to carry a pistol you MUST know how to safely handle, carry and use it. no exceptions.

    • Anonymous

      If the conceal law, “scares the sheriff to death,” perhaps the sheriff might want to explore work in another profession. The concealed carry law has been a right for law biding, Maine citizens for a long time; and I do not recall incidents, when the concealed carry law, has been abused very often by Maine citizens.

      • Anonymous

        He should move to New YorK city where no one can carry concealed. He might feel safer.

  • PabMainer

    Why doesn’t the state keep a record of the permits issued and who has them? Seems like something that should have been taking place from the time the State Police started issuing permits and by any municipal PD who issues permits….Crazy with today’s technology not to have this info on file….

    • Anonymous

      The reason is that it’s none of the state’s business. No law allows the record compiling. Constitution.

      • PabMainer

        Really?? The State Police is responsible for the process of background checks and of issuing concealed carry permits for almost 400 towns and unorganized terrorities as well as all out of state permits….as well as PI’s and professional security businesses……how is it possibly none of their business or responsibility to keep records??

      • Anonymous

        Title 25 Section 2006 of the CWP law states: “The issuing authority shall make a permanent record of each permit to carry concealed weapons in a suitable book or file kept for that purpose. The record shall include the information contained in the permit itself and shall be available for public inspection.”
        Sorry to disappoint but it is public information.

        • Anonymous

          The issuing authority for over 350 municipalities MAY be the state Police, or may be the mayor/city council/board of selectmen of a town/asessors of a plantation. There is no requirement for towns which do not pass the authority on to the SP to report their permit lists to the SP. No central records are required in the law. They are, however, very specific about the requirement to send all fees collected to the state.

        • Bright

          It’s not public information, ME statute regarding CWP’s specifically exempts it from FOIA requests limiting it to legal proceedings.

          • Anonymous

            Could you provide the statute that you are referring to? I looked at Title 1, Freedom of Access and did not find anything contradicting what I cited from T25-2006.

    • Anonymous

      They do. Still doesn’t prevent permitted folks such as the recent dumbie at LL Bean from doing stupid things though. Again, hold the gun owner 100% responsible and make him serve a significant penalty for his stupidity!

    • My permit was issued by Bangor PD and I would like for them to keep my private information, private.

      • Anonymous

        http://amiglobalsecurity.com/breaking-ny-paper-publishes-gun-permit-holders-names-in-print-online/

        Did you see this story recently about the NY paper that published all the names and addresses of permit holders? Backfired badly.

        • I’ve known about the database for some time, it was not a secret but for the paper to publish the information was wrong. When I first heard about the database I typed in my last name because I have a lot of family in NY and I was surprised how many people with my last name have permits.

          • FrankC

            Murphy, Kelly, O’brien .. .. lots of Irish NYC cops and families live around there, I bet.

    • Anonymous

      They have the info on file, but as Kevin says, his private information is private..It’s not your business or my business.

      • Anonymous

        montvale Ganary•a few seconds ago

        +
        Delete
        Flag as inappropriate
        Title 25 Section 2006 of the CWP law states: “The issuing authority shall make a permanent record of each permit to carry concealed weapons in a suitable book or file kept for that purpose. The record shall include the information contained in the permit itself and shall be available for public inspection.”
        Sorry to disappoint but it is public information.

        • Anonymous

          Correct. The problem is that it’s not maintained as a central comprehensive file. There are hundreds of towns that maintain their own records independent of the state.

        • If someone wants to take the time to go down to the Bangor PD and seek out the records, that is fine with me. I just don’t think there should be a public database where someone can just simply go online and access the information.

      • PabMainer

        I wasn’t asking or saying that any info should be public but the SP’s spokesman states in the article “the state doesn’t keep a central record of the number of ccp’s issued in Maine”….Seems the state should have all the numbers and info, IMHO…….

  • Anonymous

    “the sheriff said similar accidents are the reason he’s alarmed by the number of Mainers carrying concealed weapons.”

    WHAT “similar accidents”? First one I’ve seen, right here.

    • Millicent

      first one we’ve seen reported in the news.

    • a dope boy

      And it’s only being reported because of his title and profession.

  • When I took the class a few years ago I took it at Van Raymonds and the instructor, don’t remember his name but he is awesome and if you are not competent on the range he will not pass you. He takes the class very serious and drills gun safety into your head.

    I highly recommend Van Raymonds to anyone who wants to take the course.

    • a dope boy

      I bet top dollar this doctor has never even taken a gun safety course. And he even had a round in the chamber. if he would have not forgotten that gun in the rest room it would have only been a matter of time before he put hole in his leg.

      Now get this, he’s still practicing medicine. 72 years old, can’t remember his gun, with a live round in the chamber and he’s going to prescribe medications for someone,,,OK.

      We got more then just economic wacky-nest going on in Maine.

      • Xerxies

        The good doctor is a military retiree and in the medical corps he would have been required to qualify on a live fire firearms range yearly, with a pistol specifically. The guy screwed up, he forgot his gun, it happens, lets keep things in perspective here!

        • a dope boy

          It happens. Yeah, his retirement should have happen years ago as well. Don’t throw the military hype in there. You only cheapen the service.

          • Anonymous

            In order to qualify for a CCF permit, one must present documentation that one has completed a firearms safety course, present a copy of one’s DD-214, or present a active duty or retired law enforcement officers credentials.
            I would suggest the doctor presented his DD-214.

          • a dope boy

            Oh yeah, and that’s how he skates around any need to take the safety course and range time.

            The party is about to come to an end in Maine. Everyone applying for a concealed carry permit will have to have class time and range time, and verifiable.

          • Anonymous

            You are seriously misinformed. Go research this person before you say any more. Please.

          • Anonymous

            It’s obvious that you are passionately anti gun , terribly misinformed and ignorant of any facts !

          • pbmann

            It is obvious you are passionately pro gun and terrible misinformed and ignorant of any facts!

          • Anonymous

            I didn’t know about the DD-214. When I came home they made me take the hunters safety course which was fun but I thought a bit of a waste considering my past weapons experience.

          • Anonymous

            That’s a shame. On the application for my CCF permit it asked the questions…hunter safety course #, DD-214, or law enforcement credentials.
            My wife went thru a local hunters safety course and an NRA firearms safety course for her CCF permit. I went with her to both and found both rather amusing.

          • Anonymous

            I hadn’t had a license up here for around 20 years so since I was not on record the State insisted I needed the hunter safety course. I took it originally when I was 11 in Princeton. I made it a Father Daughter adventure though and we did it together.

          • Anonymous

            Maine can be a bit picky about that.
            I had both 214 & LEO creds.
            EA-6B Prowler?

          • Anonymous

            Yeah. Not many of us out there in the Corps. I got your tag when I saw it to. I got to help with and Engine change on one of your birds once. Not a lot of fun.

          • Anonymous

            I had to land at DaNang with a hydraulic problem. Marine and Air Force had a bunch of F-4’s there. Me and WIZO hung out at the O club and tossed back a few with the Marine types.

          • Anonymous

            That makes me one short generation removed from you warrior. My people were in your area of operations but flying an earlier less capable version of our aircraft. The things that the EA6B can do are and for the most part still top secret techwise and that was 30 years ago when I was a young hard charger. I really want to know the real scoop on the new gizmos out there now. They must be amazing.

          • Anonymous

            What makes you think his retirement was years ago? He may have been in the reserves after his service time was up.

          • Anonymous

            Because the mandatory military retirement age for someone under general is 62. It can be extended to 64 which considering the war may have happened but he has been out for awhile and skills are perishable.

          • Anonymous

            There was a psychiatrist at DDPC that was in the Air National Guard that was older than that. (64)

          • Anonymous

            LIke I said, it can be extended to 64 by law but no further.

          • Anonymous

            He was older than 64.

          • Anonymous

            Not unless he was a General. They are exempt from that law.

          • Anonymous

            Didn’t know his rank. Just know we use to have to contact him and he would be in a helo flying over Bangor.

        • pbmann

          Yeah he left a loaded gun, with a round in the chamber, in a public place. What if a young boy had been the next one in the stall and picked up the gun?

          Yes, keep things in perspective.

          • Anonymous

            Exactly why children should be taught gun safety.

          • pbmann

            Typical blame the victim not the person responsible for losing the gun and acting irresponsbly

          • Anonymous

            I am pro-gun and I will agree on this one. You should lose your permit for this.

        • Anonymous

          How long since he qualified? You do know skills are perishable right?

      • Nero Wolfe

        well lets take your right to post because you have abused that right.he made one mistake in 50 years.you have made several on this site alone.

        • Anonymous

          This one mistake is too much. He should at least be required to give up the permit.

    • Anonymous

      I took the same course at Van Raymonds, years ago. I believe Charlie Rumsey taught it at the time and he did a very good job. There were people from all walks of life and all different skill sets and he worked with everyone. I don’t think he would have passed anyone if they were not competent.

      Perhaps what is needed is a defined standard for the course.

      • Yes, that is his name. A great guy and I don’t know if he still teaches the course but I hope he does.

        • yes he still teaches it, he is a great instructor. well worth the course if you are going to take it before he retires

  • Anonymous

    While C-C permits have increased, many people do not carry on a regular basis.

  • Ben Hutchins

    If something so small as that “scares you to death”, Sheriff, may I suggest you might want to consider finding a less stressful career than law enforcement? Because if that scares you to death, dealing with actual crime must leave you practically paralytic with fear. It can’t be good for your health.

  • WACO118

    Why would a 72 year old doctor Need to be a deputy in Washington County? Better yet why would any Sheriff authorize him to be a deputy? And the commissioners went along with that auction.? Where is the common sense that most Sheriffs have?. Maybe that is the deputy the sheriff has sent out to get Leigh when he is stocking the citizens of Washington County. Or maybe that is the one that hangs out in the admin office for hours ,Oh, know he is the supervisor of dispatch.

    • Anonymous

      He’s not a deputy sherrif. Read the article.

      • WACO118

        He was assigned as a special deputy by the sheriff. The article does not mention that.

      • Anonymous

        Better yet, do some research. You may be quite surprised at what is not covered.

      • WACO118

        The sheriff himself made him a special deputy. It is not written in the article
        .

    • Anonymous

      Why would someone who has been suspended pending termination, using someone else’s badge number, comment about anyone else’s wrongdoings when they are facing criminal proceedings? You need to worry about what is going on in your own backyard because the way things are looking, you may be on the receiving end of the good Doctor’s prognosis while incarcerated in the Washington County Jail. Oh, and just think how good that SANTA BRA is going to look on you, too bad it is going to clash with your orange jumpsuit and orange slippers.

      • ruby

        Thats a fairly bold comment to make on your part seems there weren’t any charges filed to my knowledge against either of the 2 in the referenced action. You are making a very mighty assumption that “WACO118” is someone who they’re not given you haven’t supported this with any fact or anything other than your blatant assumption that it is so.

        • Anonymous

          Why don’t you reread and edit your post and try again because this makes no sense.

          • WACO118

            Would this be some kind of information from the sheriffs ( investigation ) that you deem important?. I think not as it probably would be a controlled document until the investigation is completed. And that any attempt to release information from the sheriffs ( offical investigation ) would be unethical if not illegal..
            In fact the sheriff probably has this controlled document and knows who would have that access. Decon really brings the true ( RATS ) out does it not ?????

          • Anonymous

            Made you blink didn’t it? As far as RATS are concerned, your about as low as it can go. I wouldn’t be calling anyone a RAT when whoever found YOUR indiscretion brought it to the attention of the Sheriff. Controlled document? You should stop talking and so should your relatives.

        • Anonymous

          Why don’t you reread and edit your post and try again as this makes no sense.

  • Anonymous

    If he’s carrying a round in the chamber he’s not competent enough to be carrying period.

    • Anonymous

      I would disagree. I conceal carry and I always have a round in the chamber with the safety on. Cocking a semi-auto is a two-handed procedure and I might not have time in the heat of the moment to do so.

      My bigger concern is that this guy took his gun out in a bathroom to begin with. I never take my gun out in public for anything, anything at all. Even if clothes shopping or visiting the restroom, I make sure there’s no way to leave it behind. Guns are far too dangerous to treat them any differently.

      • Anonymous

        And I would disagree. I carry every time I leave the house. Have travelled all over the country carrying.
        Have stopped in rest areas too many times to count and when using a “stall” always remove the artillery before “taking the throne”. The weight alone prevents me from leaving it holstered.
        If there is no where to set the gun down, I hold it or put it in my downed pants, but have never left it behind.
        I feel sorry for the old gent. He made a regrettable mistake, but it ain’t the end of the world.

    • a dope boy

      …and I dare say not competent either to be practicing medicine.

      • Xerxies

        What may I ask, does a person forgetting personal property in a public restroom, have to do with the same person practicing medicine?

        • a dope boy

          If you have to ask, turn in your weapon now !

      • Bright

        I don’t know about that, Doctors accidentally kill far more Americans each year than guns.

    • Xerxies

      Every Police Officer in the State of Maine, and the United States of America carries their sidearm with a round chambered. Carrying a unloaded concealed firearm is like carrying a rock in your pocket, stupid. Your ignorance is showing sir/ma’am.

      • Anonymous

        Was he a police officer? No I didn’t think so

        • Anonymous

          Actually according to the Sheriff yes he was. He was carrying a concealed weapon based on his Sheriffs office issued credentials (Sheriffs Commission) which is allowed under state law.

          • Anonymous

            He is not a sworn police officer and it doesn’t sound like he has attended the police academy. An open carrying police officer is a different story.

          • Anonymous

            Your not going to get an argument from me but according to the Sheriff his Sheriff’s Department credentials is all he needs to carry concealed.

    • Anonymous

      Now what the hell good is a firearm, carried concealed, if you have to pull it, jack a round in the chamber and then begin to save your life. By the time you have attempted that, you’d be dead.
      And that makes your comment incompetent.

  • HowdyNeighbor

    Typical government employee wanting to take arms out of the hands of citizens, which makes us LESS safe!

    • How did you get from I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment, but I’m getting a little nervous with all the concealed carry to “They done comin’ to git my gunz!”?

      • HowdyNeighbor

        When governments try to disarm citizens, the citizens are then less safe from criminals AND from an overzealous government. Research Hitler. He enforced gun control before he started murdering Jews.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s easy to forget a gun…” ?? If that is the case, a permit should not have been issued. When carrying, the first thing on my mind constantly is the disposition of the weapon and awareness of those around me.

    • Scott Harriman

      This man should have had his permit revoked immediately.

      Someone who is so careless that he forgets a deadly weapon (with a round chambered, even) in a public place has no business being allowed to carry a gun in public.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t touch the gun or pull it out of its holster unless you are going to use it. That is when accidents happen.

  • Scott Harriman

    “State Police Lt. David Bowler…told the Sun Journal in March that applications shot up 46 percent between 2008 and 2001.”

    If the number of applications went up while going backwards in time does that mean that there were actually fewer applications?

    • FrankC

      maybe a typo – 2008 and 2011 ??

    • Anonymous

      It is grammatically correct to say either. “between” means within those two dates. backward or forward doesn’t matter.

  • Anonymous

    Taking the time to investigate and discover the stellar records of those in possession of a concealed carry license, one would only be impressed with the high level of adherence to laws and regulations. If the population at large mirrorred the fine records of CC permit holders, the criminal statistics in this state would read quite differerently than they presently do. How sad that a sherriff, who should be aware of casting aspersions regarding groups of people can’t do better than he is doing. If the BDN wishes to run a series regarding the positive uses through firearm ownership, I would be more than happy to pen the pages. Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath. Ken Fogelman

    • a dope boy

      Nicely said. But you can’t blame him for being nervous. His people are on the front lines every day dealing with this. I only have to be nervous for myself and family, I’m not out there trying to protect anyone else.

      • Anonymous

        You should be protecting others as well. The bunker mentality is what got us here.The mistakes were made long ago. Time to get busy fixing those before it’s too late.

        • a dope boy

          Yeah, well that may work in a University setting, but out here in the real world it’s every man, woman and child for themselves.

          I know, it sucks. (where capitalist)

  • Scares me to. The open carry law is weird. There’s no reason you should have people walking down a city sidewalk exposing a gun

    • Anonymous

      I feel safer around people who open carry.. At least I know I’m safe from criminals when they are around.

      • I don’t feel any safer

    • Anonymous

      The gun doesn’t bother me as much as some other things that “people expose.”

  • Anonymous

    We should all be afraid of Sheriff Donnie Smith’s incompetence. Remember when his department lost over 70 handguns?

    • a dope boy

      More like sold on the black market. You can’t fight criminals without criminals.

    • Anonymous

      Yes.

    • Anonymous

      Evidently you don’t have your facts straight because that was the previous administrations incompetence. Sheriff Smith discovered that handguns were missing when he took office and tried to do something about it. When are you naysayers going to get it that MOST of the people of Washington County like Sheriff Smith because he hides nothing. It is obvious by the amount of votes he gets that he is by far the most popular candidate that has run/won.

      • Anonymous

        or has the most money

      • Northwoods_Girl

        Bet you he won’t win again…

  • Anonymous

    There are more people who carry loaded guns illegally in this state, than there are law-abiding citizens who carry, and it is only these law-breakers that the sheriff need concern himself with. Spouting off against law-abiding people who have taken a safety course to do something legal makes him sound stupid.

  • Anonymous

    If the sheriff is that nervous or scared to death, perhaps he should consider a new line of work.

  • Anonymous

    Based on the Washington County Jail physician leaving his 9mm in the restroom at LLBean in Ellsworth I can understand why.

    • Anonymous

      What were you replying to there?

      • Anonymous

        It was a general statement based on the news story headline “Washington County sheriff: Maine’s concealed carry law ‘scares me to death’”

  • Anonymous

    He made a mistake yes a bad mistake, but a mistake.

    • a dope boy

      Good point. So we can agree it was no accident, and therefore he should lose his privilege to carry.

      Next case please..

      • Anonymous

        Hid privilege to carry is conferred by his Washington County Sheriffs Office credentials (sheriffs commission). The Sheriff has said he plans on doing nothing. That means his privilege to carry will not be impacted one iota.

      • Anonymous

        The RIGHT to carry is NOT a privilege.

        Every driver who speeds through a school zone should lose their license to drive forever because what “might have” happened?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, a bad mistake that luckily did not turn out tragically with a young child picking up what he thought was a toy.

  • I feel much safer with citizens concealed carry leagally! The life they save might be yours!

  • Anonymous

    After reading all these comments it is apparent to me that most of the respondents have not read the laws pertaining to concealed carrying. Someone left a post that apparently has. I would recommend that the rest go read the laws then come back and review their first posts and maybe correct them while they are there. An informed person makes better judgement of the issue.

  • Ciaran

    The Washington County Sheriff needs to be less worried about people who actually acquire concealed carry permits, and worry about those who don’t and carry illegally.

  • Anonymous

    Leaving his gun in a restroom had the effect it was mean’t to have on the sheep.. There was no mistake here, it was done to anger the people.. And as for scaring the sheriff, good. without fear you would abuse your position.

  • Anonymous

    I am 78 years old and during my time as a police officer I have seen many officers and head of departments who like to see their name in print, otherwise they would not be recognized as ” doing their job” . The good ones usually shy away from controversial subjects that bring them to the publics attention. They just do their job and do it well and the results show up regarding it. It seems that Sheriff Smith likes the limelight. Enough said.

    • Being part politician for an elected position should come as no surprise. The same holds true in the military.

    • Anonymous

      I do not know the name of the Police Chief who ran the Portland police Department before Mike Chitwood, but I do know this. before Mike the City was more peaceful, livable, and crime free than after Mike (who loved publicity) came to office.

    • Northwoods_Girl

      Indeed he does like his limelight. Sadly, he says he is for 2nd amendment, yet those of us in the county know a bit more about this cat and he won’t be re-elected. Let him have his limelight from the BDN and PPH. He will need to have his memories for when he gets old.

  • Anonymous

    Appalled by the slap on the wrist…. but not surprised…..

  • Anonymous

    How can a Sheriff be scared to death over something that he swore an oath to uphold and defend? Aside from the fact that our unalienable rights clearly state that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed (and requiring a permit for concealed carry is an infringement), law abiding citizens who have applied for a permit to carry a concealed weapon should not be a concern to a Sheriff because just like as in the case in our major cities where unconstitutional gun bans are already in effect, when you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns; citizens that go out of their way to ensure compliance with laws that restrict their rights by way of licenses and compliance with obtaining those licenses in order to be law abiding of laws that are by nature unlawful and contradictory to our Bill of Rights should not be flaunted by said Sheriff who has taken an oath swearing to protect the rights of the citizens. Instead, this Sheriff is fanning the flames of a fanatical faction of the citizenry that are attempting to strip their fellow citizens of their natural inherent right of self defense, a safeguard to the fanaticism that would be necessary to strip citizens of their right to bear arms through the implementation of any laws, or executive decision, calling for gun confiscation by the hands of a uniformed federal joint task force who would undoubtedly be armed to the teeth, and perhaps use swat teams, in order to disarm citizens who refuse to submit to the wishes of a tyrannical government that can justify itself by using the threat of force to carry out its “moral authority” to ensure “public safety” while denying the public its inherent right as free people to self defense.

    • a dope boy

      We got infringe upon because we where not smart enough to ‘police ourselves’. And he hasn’t sworn to anything other then to ‘protect and serve’. Your so called ‘Bill of Rights’ is about as worthless as the paper it was printed on. In layman’s terms all we have in reality is a ‘set of privileges’.

      You’ll note how the nations municipal police forces refer to us as ‘civilians’. And when the push comes the shove your so called ‘Bill of Rights’ will be worth nothing more then toilet paper.

    • Speaking of fanatical…whoa!

      • Anonymous

        “Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.”

        ~Mohandas Gandhi,
        An Autobiography, pg 446

        • a dope boy

          Yeah, ain’t that a hoot. Mr. peaceful loving himself. (and no doubt murder by Britt money)

          But never think their independence really created anything really good for the overall mass’s. In fact America is heading in their direction. Which is an island of wealth surrounded by slums.

          And with India’s recent arms deal with Russia not to be trusted anymore then the Packi’s. (I’ve never trusted them)

        • “And that has what to do with America in 2012?”
          ~ sad_statue
          Comment # 748949015

          • Bright

            History doomed to repeat itself.

          • I understand the implication. Though we aren’t under anyones rule but our own. It is an irrelevant quote.

          • Anonymous

            For you the quote may be irrelevant, but for me and others who read these comments it is not. Gandhi is a pacifist and one of the biggest champions of civil disobedience for all of humanity (right up there with Martin Luther King) and for Gandhi to go out of his way to acknowledge that the right to bear arms is a universal human right that should not be denied makes it very much relevant to the anti-gun hysteria sweeping this nation right now. You can be a pacifist and still be an advocate of the inherent right of free people to bear arms, and Gandhi’s quote proves this.

          • I agree with you, it should not be denied. The sheriff agrees with you. He has stated a concern. That’s it. Is that not his first amendment right?

            Like howdy, you are interpreting worry as a call to round up the swat teams and go door to door confiscating weapons. You are putting out conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality.

          • FrankC

            Thank you, well put.

        • FrankC

          The British knew what they were doing.

          And just watched the other nite “A Passage to India”

    • You forgot the first part of the sentence:

      A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free
      State,
      the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be
      infringed.

      • Anonymous

        actually “regulated” in this case has always been known to mean “supplied”. what it is saying in essence is that , since a well supplied militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to be supplied with arms shall not be infringed.

        also from 1939 supreme court case miller vs united states, militia is defined as adult males and different from professional military. this court ruling which in reality was nothing more than going back and looking at the writings of the founders also ruled that the government only had the right to place restrictions on weapons that have no purpose in a citizen militia. the case was about a sawed off shotgun.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, the Supreme Court was all over this in the Heller decision and they said the 2nd *does* confer an individual right, so you might as well save your (electronic) ink, in boldface or not :-)

  • Anonymous

    I taught my son how to handle a gun when he turned 8 years old. Why? Because with kids bringing guns to school, what if he stumbled on one at school? These days the possibilities are there. At least he would know HOW to handle it without it going off accidently. No, he never found one, which is a good thing, but in today’s world you never know what can happen from one day to the next whether it’s at school or even in a playground somewhere. Knowledge is key. (No I never let him shoot one at that age, but knowing how to handle one is a big plus).

    I do have a conceal carry permit and I do keep my weapon with me usually. I’ve been carrying legally since I was 18. I never had to use it or even pull it from it’s holster but if the time ever comes where I do, it’s a good feeling knowing that it’s handy.

    My feeling on this good doctor is that he should have his ccw permit taken away from him. This incident could have had some bad results had it been found by a felon or young kid who didn’t know how to handle one.

    • a dope boy

      Well said ..

    • Anonymous

      But here’s the rub….according to the article since the good doctor has a Deputy Sheriff’s Commission as a condition of contracted employment he doesn’t need to apply for and hold a valid CWP.

      “While the doctor carries sheriff’s office identification — which allows him to carry the gun concealed in public — he’s not technically an employee of the county. Smith said Newman is more like a contractor.”

    • That’s better than teaching nothing certainly, though wouldn’t “hey teacher, I found a gun” be better than an 8 year old trying to bring said weapon to them? I think well educated or not, an 8 year old approaching an adult with a gun could scare the you know what out of just about anyone.

    • Anonymous

      That was what I was thinking . How lucky some young kid did not go into that restroom and pick it up.

  • sail with this

    good call Donnie Smith!!!

    • a dope boy

      Well, he’s a politician at heart. In 2 years he’ll run for governor and all the Libertarian tea-party pot smokers will vote for ’em cause he’ll be talking about the right to arm.

      Then he’ll strip ’em like a mink.

  • Anonymous

    OK let me get this straight.

    The BDN contacts Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith for comment on HIS contracted employee leaving a loaded firearm in the restroom of LLBean’s Ellsworth store.

    The good doctor will not face any department penalty for “forgetting” his firearm which according to the article he is allowed to carry concealed with a CWP because “the doctor carries sheriff’s office identification — which allows him to
    carry the gun concealed in public”.

    “Smith said the number of people carrying concealed weapons makes incidents such as the one at L.L. Bean more and more likely, and it’s only a matter of time before a similar incident has a tragic ending.”

    Sheriff Smith when was the last time a private citizen with a CWP left a firearm in the restroom of any Maine establishment? It seems that the only person in recent memory that has done that is YOUR contracted employee that can carry a concealed weapon based on you issuing his credentials!!

    It seems that you are attempting to turn the focus away from your department and on law abiding private citizens with CWP that have never done what YOUR contracted employee has done.

  • Anonymous

    This is a little unsettling. I go about my business here in the great state of Maine content that I am in a peaceful society. People are generally polite and seem quite respectful of one another. And then I read these comments, especially from the ones who carry concealed weapons, and I begin to wonder. Am I missing something? Is this really Mexico?

    • Anonymous

      I agree. To me when I read some of the comments it seems they go overboard. They see a lot more danger than I do and I live in a city area.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, it seems like if you go to the mall without a pistol, cocked and ready, you might not make it back for supper.

    • Bright

      Really, so you think differently of the people you thought were peaceful and polite because they may have been armed? Does this indicate that many/most persons that carry are just as normal as everyone else, you’re basing your bias on their reasons for carrying a firearm, though you do not know it? I guess that would be like those firearms owners automatically thinking your a pot smoking beatnik for being anti gun? Just maybe stereotyping based on the stupidity of a few is causing yet another push in the great divide of this country. “If it ain’t my way it must be wrong, stupid and insane..”.

      • Anonymous

        You missed my point entirely. My point is that there evidently are people here in the great state of Maine who see a much more threatening world here in Maine than I do or than I think is reasonable. I just don’t see the Bangor Mall or the auditorium as that threatening. How many murders do we have in Maine yearly? We have a population of over a million and probably not much more than a couple of dozen murders. And what is the cause of those? Domestic violence and drug-related crime, most likely. Those acts don’t seem to be preventable by concealed weapons.

        I’m acquainted with quite a few people who have guns and enjoy owning them. They may even carry them with them, although I would be a little surprised if they did.

        I think you jumped a little too quickly to the conclusion that I might think that people who carry firearms might not be just as normal as anyone else. That seems quite defensive.

        • Bright

          Thanks for the clarification, I think the Mexico comment directed my train of thought? We still are like any place in the US, where random crimes do happen, likely aligned with a per capita view. The fact is that we are seeing more violent crime than before, with home invasions becoming a more common issue, as well a drug use and associated crimes. Legal concealed carry most likely will never result in a crime, but in many cases in the US they have stopped crimes. Exercising a right to carry as granted by law may only make a difference in a small percentage of cases, but to those it benefits, the difference may be life or death. The fact is many people are just becoming aware of something that’s been fairly commonplace for some for decades and has not been an issue. Not everyone can handle the onslaught of media we’re fed every day. The information age has merely ensured that we see every situation that once we’d never have heard of before.

        • Anonymous

          I think people are carrying more because they see our government, the federal one especially, infringing on the Constitution with indefinite detainment, suspension of habeas corpus, and a whole host of other things chipping away at the Bill of Rights and they cling to guns as the one tangible thing the government hasn’t yet been able to take away. I’m not sure if ultimately, millions of people hanging on to a gun as a way of showing their support for the 2nd Amendment and the rest of the Constitution will have any real effect on the erosion of rights, but I get why people are hanging onto guns as a way of forestalling the general erosion. Edited to add: I don’t think that most people have the idea that they are going to force the government into maintaining the Constitution by using their guns forcibly, though some, of course, say exactly that. Rather, I think many are thinking that there is a power in simply having a gun – that the latter sends a message to those that are chipping away at the Constitution.
          I don’t think that it’s because people are scared of the dangerous, threatening world around them and the scary criminals that live in it (if that’s even the case), though they may say so.
          In case anybody is wondering, I myself don’t own any guns, if that matters.

          • Anonymous

            I think protection of our rights comes through political action, meaning frequent although often annoying elections, lawsuits, complete with that much accursed group, the lawyers, and education. The reaction to 9/11 has resulted in the concerns you mentioned specifically. I don’t see those measures ending soon. We are in what appears to be an unending war with worldwide terrorism, and in our easily traveled world, the USA itself is always in the crosshairs. Protection of American citizens from abuse comes through the political process and lawsuits and from Americans believing in our country and abiding in our overall conception of how we conduct our affairs.

            I have fears about threats to the rights we seem to have, too. But my main fear is best represented by the Supreme Court’s decision throwing open the floodgates of money in our elections. We have always recognized and feared the corrupting influence of money in our elections. But maybe we will be smart enough to recognize when we are being bought.

  • Anonymous

    Wow! To carry or not to carry; to conceal or not to conceal – are these becoming the big questions of our time? If packing a gun is the key to personal security, why aren’t Americans, who own more guns than any other people, the happiest, most fulfilled people on earth? Then again, they probably shouldn’t be if they fear each other that much. If our mass anxiety is that great, it’s little wonder we can’t get it together to build a better world.

    • a dope boy

      Yes, sadly the world has turned into one vast ghetto, and even sadder America leads the way. Get educated, get trained and get armed.

  • Anonymous

    Donnie Smith is in a county riddled with poverty and prescription drug use, and a person who lawfully can carry a gun scares him?

    • a dope boy

      I would believe it more if he called for this nutty professor to lose that privilege. It’s all a game. The powers that be create the drug epidemic, turned the rest us into serf’s barely able to make a living, and the real fear is we get wise to it all one day, and turn the tables on them.

  • Tristan Brodeur

    funny… it doesn’t scare me any, it makes me feel more secure knowing that there are good guys and gals with guns too.

    • Anonymous

      Me neither. And the funny thing is that the one time I called the sheriff’s dept (years ago, not Smith at that time), the dispatcher asked what we were doing at our camp without a gun? Response time was almost 20 mins and there had been a lot of burglaries and drug running that summer. I believe we are being played for an agenda (21) and I don’t appreciate it.

  • Walter Kumiega III

    Ok, what’s wrong with this picture? 1) The state doesn’t keep a database of CWP holders? How the hell can they revoke a permit when someone commits a crime, or does something stupid with a gun, like leave it in a public bathroom? 2) Shouldn’t the doc lose his CWP for this? If you leave your car parked in the middle of a highway you might lose your license, kind of the same thing.

    • Anonymous

      25 M.R.S.A. § 2005. Revocation; change of residence

      Leaving your weapon behind is not a lawful reason to revoke a CWP. It takes false statements on the application or certain convictions to have it revoked. IT cannot be revoked at the whim of an issuing authority.

      • Anonymous

        Please refer to 25-2005-1-C “The permit holder becomes ineligible to possess a permit under this chapter. Ineligibility is determined on the basis of the criteria contained in section 2003:”
        Section 2003(bb) “To your knowledge, have you engaged within the past 5 years in reckless or negligent conduct that has been the subject of an investigation by a governmental entity?”

    • Anonymous

      “If you leave your car parked in the middle of a highway you might lose your license, kind of the same thing.”

      Really Walter? Could you provide the legal theory or Maine statue behind your comment?

  • Anonymous

    I got one, i couidnt believe how easy it was. I shot expert in the military so i have training but others in the class, i was not so sure. This is being judgmental on my part, but some were dressed like gangbang wannabes.

    • a dope boy

      Easier then voting twice. It’s a Big money racket. One hand washes the other. I only complied with the class training and range time because I am responsible and wish to remain so.

      When I lived in Texas you actually have to qualify, like most cops do. To many misses outside the target range and you are denied. And when I lived down there you had to re qualify every three years. And it ain’t cheap.

      I mention all this, because I grew up with the perception of the wild west, they are strict down there. And don’t have half of the accidental shootings we have. But I could not stand living down there. nine years was enough for me, good to be back among the crowd.

      Texas ain’t just a way of living, it’s also a state of mind.

    • Anonymous

      you might think it’s easy, but really the burden of it lies on the police department.
      once you fill out the permit the p.d. needs to do a full and comprehensive background check on you. it’s not a quick and easy process like you might believe.

  • Since ME is an open carry state I’m a little confused about how concealed carry makes any difference in the situations mention in this article.
    BTW, I believe in open carry, if you want to carry a firearm then man up and stop playing secret agent undercover cop like a little child, and wear your gun for all to see. That might actually stop crime. Why do you want to keep it hidden? Are you ashamed?
    The cops would really be scared to death if everyone was packing, right out in the open.

    • Anonymous

      It gets a little confusing with the open carry and the concealed carry, I agree.

  • Anonymous

    Not surprised since just about everything scares Sheriff Smith to death!!!

  • Dan Troop

    “I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment, but I’m getting a little nervous with all the concealed carry,” he said.
    Maybe the Sheriff would prefer that citizens carry their sidearm in an open holster on their hip, which by the way every citizen over the age of 18 authorized to possess a firearm can legally do. The main reason most people get a concealed weapons permit is so they don’t sacre the people around them when they are out in public or get arrested by an over vealous game warden.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, does he call BDN every day with his thought for the day and ask to be published? Is he trying to become a household name? Planning a run for Governor? I just don’t see the “news” in the random thoughts of a county sheriff.

  • Anonymous

    The same Sheriff that didn’t have a gun or a cell phone when his retired drug dog located drug dealers. I know who should retire.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    So you have no source for the claim “Every month in Maine there are about 2-3 at home who forget that
    chambered round while cleaning their manhood and shoot themselves” then.

    • Anonymous

      It would appear not.

  • Anonymous

    The BDN should do a story on a pregnant, bath salt addict, with a concealed weapons permit,who panhandles on Hogan Rd. with a backpack emblazoned with a G.Bush for President sticker. And she is seen at grocery stores buying beer with her welfare allowance. Oh, yes, she voted for Baldacci twice. THAT would sell some papers!

  • Anonymous

    “It’s important to keep this in perspective,” said Newman’s son, who also is the senior Newman’s attorney. “This has never happened before. I’m certain it will never happen again.” We only need to have it happen once…especially if a child or wacko picked up the gun!!!

    • Anonymous

      the guy was 72.
      not an excuse, but come on. old people forget things all the time.

      even important things like which one is the brake pedal and which side of the road to travel on.

      don’t punish responsible concealed carry permit holders because of the irresponsibility of 1 old gentleman.

  • Anonymous

    Annoy a liberal, buy a gun.

  • Peter Goodno

    I think Sheriff Smith should fnd a new line of work..

  • Anonymous

    Why in the world would a law enforcement officer mind having the state flooded with hidden weapons, so that a fairly ordinary-appearing person might whip one out of concealment at any moment and fire away at random? Surely he’s aware that these folks won’t start shooting unless they’ve convinced themselves that they have a sudden need to combat tyranny any way they happen to choose to do so!

    • Anonymous

      What is the REAL history of CHL holders in other states? Do you know?

      • Anonymous

        More concerned about the future. More and more of them, more and more potential for random acts of violence.

        • Anonymous

          Again spoken out of ignorance. The actual data speak otherwise. You can look up the criminal history statistics of CHL holders on the Texas Dept Public Safety web site. As an educational exercise, use these REAL data and calculate per capita crime rates of CHL holders vs the general public.

      • Anonymous
        • Anonymous

          Thank you for demonstrating your ignorance. If you had read that stuff, you would know that their list is from newspaper accounts that are unvetted and unproved. But even so, take their 100 or so anecdotes and divide by 8 million CHL holders. What are the odds? How does this compare to the police?

  • Anonymous

    I think the Sheriff should move to Afghanistan, Iran or some other country where he will not have to worry about carry permits! I have had a carry permit for over 30 years and only carry at certain times and never into stores! I would never be so stupid as to take it off and leave it somewhere. It takes an intelligent, responsible person to do that, like a doctor, lawyer, judge etc. I own no high powered or assault weapons and will continue to keep and carry my guns for my own peace of mine! No one has to fear my guns unless the are threatening the safety of me and my family, breaking into my house or a threat to our freedom and the American way of life!

  • Nero Wolfe

    another internet tough guy.

  • Anonymous

    Another press release by this guy. I hope Washington County residents are paying attention. Is that Sheriff alright? Some of the things he comes up with are not in balance with normal thinking.

  • Tom Brown III

    Mario you are twisting the sheriffs words and pulling a literary bait and switch.

    You are comparing knowledge of firearms safety to firearms proficiency. The average competent CCW permit holder is always 100% mindful of where their weapon is. This guy made a mistake, he is 72 and probably getting forgetful who knows, or he just forgot something in a crapper like ppl do. This isn’t covered in the required firearms safety course, but I bet instructors will start including some mention of this event and to be continually mindful of your firearm.

    Now that isn’t what scares the sheriff, he is refering to a lack of practical training and shooting experince. If you have never fired a handgun before, go take the NRA basic pistol safety course, get a CCP, and a .380 pocket pistol. that 50 rounds of and 2 hours of range time is not enough to be proficient to defend yourself and others it just isn’t enough time to learn the fundamentals and specialized techniques for self defense with a pistol.

  • Anonymous

    Sheriff Smith carries a gun to protect himself not you.. Wake up.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, what is with people in Washington County. This Sheriff will do anything to get his name in the paper. What a blow hard, why do people vote for him. There must be a real law enforcement professional in Washington County who could run for sheriff.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, as sheriff’s go, Donnie is a good guy, He is a showboat, and he likes to see his picture in the paper, but he really is one of the most honest sheriffs that Washington County has had in a long while. He cleaned up a BIG mess when he took over.

      • Anonymous

        Good for him. Now why doesn’t he just come to Texas and ask our LEO’s how THEY handle CHL’s without panic.

      • Anonymous

        If he’s good then he shouldn’t be concerned with “showboating”. He is self centered……not a good trait of a Sheriff. Quite frankly a very serious problem given his position. County commissioners need to “demote” him.

        • Anonymous

          You show me one elected official who isn’t “self centered” and I’ll show you one who won’t win the next election.

    • Anonymous

      If you dont live there, whats your problem? This guy seems like a heck of a good sheriff to me.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting take by Sheriff Smith. I share his concern with the way that a lot of law enforcement act, so maybe we should take away their firearms also. Mistakes happen. It must be nice to be as perfect as the good Sheriff and to not have made one in life yet.

  • Anonymous

    My father in law still gets teary eyed when he talks about the day he had to take his father’s gun away, a german lugar that he carried at all times in a shoulder holster. He had owned a liquor store and always kept it for “protection” at work. There comes a time when family members need to intervene and recognize that a loved one could harm himself or someone else with his handling of his weapon and more importantly his attitude about the need for his weapon. Carrying a gun with a bullet in the chamber and then being this casual about it? The time has come Doc Newman to let it go. In our case, the gun was replaced with a toy gun and gramps carried that until the day he went into a nursing home and even then continued to ask for his gun.

    • FrankC

      If your grand-father-in-law grew up in the WWI / & depression era, I bet he knew the value of personal weapons. Especially if he dealt with the public.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone is a law abiding citizen, until they break the law.

  • Anonymous

    so, because of this little incident the anti-gunners want to limit concealed carry permits….

    a while back there was an old guy driving the wrong way up 295.

    should we start cutting back on everyone’s drivers licenses because of that incident?

  • Star Goddess

    Popular causes of death per year

    Machinery – 350
    Medical & Surgical Complications and Misadventures – 500
    Poisoning by gases – 700
    Firearms – 1,500
    Suffocation – 3,300
    Fires and burns – 3,700
    Drowning – 4,000
    Poisoning by solids and liquids – 8,600
    Falls -14,900
    Motor vehicle crashes – 43,200

    We can see from the above list where the room for improvement needs to be and this list is by no means inclusive and is intended as general interest for entertainment purposes only.

    • Anonymous

      Ahh but you forgot to mention that 25% of all accidents occur in the bathroom.

  • Anonymous

    I knew Donnie would have to get some press out of this issue. What a showboat!

  • Anonymous

    What is it about Article One Section 16. To keep and bear arms. “Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.” that Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith doesn’t understand?

    If you are going to swear to uphold the Constitution, Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith, should at the very least read it.

    • Anonymous

      Where does it say that every citizen has a right to concealed weapons?

      It seems perfectly reasonable for a trained law enforcement officer to add some professional perspective on the debate.

      • Anonymous

        Have you ever read the Constitution of the State of Maine?

        Here, go read it for yourself and then you tell me where you see that the state has the right to limit the ownership of guns or to force anyone to get a license or to give sheriffs the right to decide when there are enough gun permits out,

        Article One Section 16. To keep and bear arms. “Every citizen has a
        right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.”

        Every citizen of Maine has the right to keep arms and the right to bear arms. Corrupt politicians, corrupt judges and the corrupt press has allowed this right of the people as well as most of the others to be undermined at best taken in some cases.

        • Anonymous

          That is your interpretation and you’re not alone, of course. Neither is Donnie Smith and his perfectly valid viewpoint. In this country, the debate between enumerated and implied rights is as old as the US Constitution.

          • Anonymous

            Try to understand something, I have not given you and interpretation, I have outed the Maine Constitution to you. Additionally I gave you the State web address for the Constitution.

            Now let me try to reason with you one more time, if you still don’t understand than you have made my point about public schools.

            Article One Section 16. To keep and bear arms. “Every citizen has a
            right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.”

          • Anonymous

            Thank you for the pointer to the Maine Constitution. I have read it before and have a good understanding of it. What you have previously stated is indeed an interpretation, which as the product of critical thinking, requires interpretation and application, otherwise it is just reading.

            A rights in a constitution have two components: an enumerated right which tells you want you can do and an implied right which is the extent to which you can exercise the enumerated right. We have to exercise responsibility with our rights. For example, we have the freedom of speech but we can’t say whatever we want wherever we want to say it, such as yelling fire in a theater. The former is the enumerated right, the later is an example on the bounds of the implied right.

            It is perfectly valid – and supported by current law – to allow open carry while restricting concealed carry. It doesn’t not in any way prohibit a persons ability to keep and bear arms, it just means that they cannot do so in any manner they choose.

            Your comment about public schools is disappointing since they do provide excellent education and my attending public or private school is entirely beside the point. I have been perfectly respectful of your position despite the hints of pedantry.

          • Anonymous

            You are welcome.

            Now, a history lesson. way back in 1985 and 86
            some of us, I owned ARTICLE TEN, at the time, started working to put a stop to the very things the sheriff is now doing or implying that he will do. Now, you may very well have a great education and think that what I said about Article One Section 16: To keep and bear arms. Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned, is an interpretation, but it isn’t. I was part of the group fighting for those words, I know what we meant by it, I am not interpreting, I am simply stating what is written.

            1. Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms

            2. this right shall never be questioned.

            It is that simple. As for my being a bit “pedantry”, meticulousness,
            thoroughness, unimaginative, I think not. But I do have a ahrd time suffering moros.

          • Anonymous

            I have a rather easy time suffering all kinds of points of view.

            You seem to be suggesting that the right to keep and bear arms is an absolute right, which is certainly not the case. The 1987 amendment to which you refer removes the qualification “for the common defense.” This ensures that the right is an individual right rather than a collective one, unlike the US Constitution which is ambiguous on that point, at best. At time of passage, the Legislature stated that LD 651 was not intended to confer an absolute right nor was it intended to prohibit the ability of the state to exercise reasonable regulation of firearms, such as preventing felons from possessing guns.

            Merely repeating the text makes me wonder just how much of it you understand.

  • Anonymous

    The more police officers who carry guns –especially the ones who tell citizens that they are the only ones trained enough to safely carry– sometimes frighten me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am-Qdx6vky0

  • Anonymous

    Chicago PD shoots two dogs in the past week for no reason, a NY police officer has is firearm discharge twice because he hung it on a restroom door, a NH deputy shoots himself in the leg, and the good Sheriffs office doctor forgets his gun in the bathroom, seems like its the law enforcement officers that “scare me to death”.

  • Anonymous

    “I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment, but I’m getting a little nervous with all the concealed carry,” he said.

    I’m getting a little nervous about your job Title Donnie.

    As long as police feel there are enough criminals out there to justify their weapons then there are enough o justify mine. Care to explain why the good Doctor needs one?

    • Anonymous

      Time for you to get one too then. The more good people that have guns the better off we all are.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve never seen the need to hide my weapons.

        • Anonymous

          And I’ll bet nobody messes with you either.

          • Anonymous

            I also don’t mess with other people. I prefer peaceful times, but I am prepared for when things go wrong. I’ve been to a few events in Bangor that make me really wonder about the people on the streets here. Everyone seems to always be challenging everyone as opposed to just trying to treat each other with respect. I’ve found that being polite but firm in all cases usually works well. I’ve also been told I come off a bit like a cop most of the time and that tends to scare off the losers.

    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t want the good doctor to prescribe any shots for me. He might give his patients a good reason to be afraid of shots.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand why a person using a toilet needs to remove his gun? Where does he hide the darned thing that makes it necessary? Maybe I just don’t know enough about gun toting to get it. But it seems to me it’s not much of a concealed weapon if it’s exposed everytime you pull your pants down.

  • Anonymous

    I have lived in Maine for 43 years, am out in public all the time, never once did I wish I had a gun or ever come close to needing one. How many random murders are there in Maine where having a gun will actually save a victim? I would like to know the stats that have so m any people fearful for their lives that they need a gun on them. If you were actually a target on someone’s radar you will not have time to pull your rod I really think it is more of a macho thing than anything else.

    • FrankC

      I agree its about a gazillion to one shot that something would happen especially here in Maine.

      I have read several list recently of events where, at one of those 1 in gazillion times, a madman with a gun was stopped or limited because someone was there with a concealed handgun.

  • Anonymous

    Now if we could get rid of automobiles, think how many lives would be saved !!!

  • Lord Whiteman

    I personally know some very unstable people who have concealed gun permits.
    These people I speak of live in a fantasy world, where the “government” is out to get them and that they must arm themselves against a long list of threats.

    • Anonymous

      Government is out to get you. Notice what you are paying every year in taxes?

      • Lord Whiteman

        Stuff cost money and people want stuff.

  • Anonymous

    Hum, funny the Sheriff I spoke to today said he in favor of CCW, and teachers carrying with the proper training. Maybe this guy needs a new job, A State Trooper told me the same thing.

  • Anonymous

    I remember a news story about a DEA agent shooting himself in the foot in front of a classroom of children and an FBI agent leaving a gun in a washroom. Using this retarded chief’s logic (or lack of it) maybe we should disarm law enforcement first because they make mistakes too.

    • Anonymous

      These aren’t mistakes, they are acts of negligence that endanger the public for which there should be consequences. The Sheriff raises a valid concern. Your unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence does nothing to diminish that fact.

  • Anonymous

    Funny still no source, I carry and have never had to pull it unless it was at a target to practice, don’t go to church, not a member of the NRA, Tea Party, Rep, or Libertarian, I do vote, and I am willing to bet the 1st time you are in a movie theater, Mac Ds, Mall with your kids and some wack-o comes in shooting, you will be glad by some chance a person with a gun was there to protect you and your kids weather it was a Police Officer or a CCW Person.

  • Anonymous

    Calm down People, please.

  • Anonymous

    Would the sheriff rather we who carry do so openly? That should make him relax.

  • Anonymous

    I’m actually not all that concerned by people with permits to carry. There might be serious mistakes like the one by this doctor, and he should lose his permit. However, when you read the news you don’t really hear anything about people with carry permits doing much of anything with their guns. You don’t hear about them shooting others during arguments or anything like that. On the flip side, you also don’t really ever hear anything credible about people with concealed weapons somehow averting disasters. Sure, there are plenty who happily brag how carrying a gun somehow saved their lives, but those claims are mostly fantasy. The common suggestion that someone with a concealed gun would somehow save a crowd from a psycho wielding an assault rifle is even more fantasy. It’s never happened. Still, statistically speaking its not the concealed weapons on people’s bodies that result in gun related incidents. Outside of combat or police situations, most gun injuries and deaths occur in the home or while hunting. I’d almost rather have people with handguns have those guns where they can keep an eye on them at all times.

  • Bertha Gruntz

    Well Doctor, thank you for devoting your entire life to military and medical service. Book ’em Danno. Whatever happened to people being decent? Yes what he accidentally did could have been tragic, but it wasn’t. If he needs to not carry a weapon anymore, then so be it. Law enforcement could have followed up and taken appropriate action to ensure it can’t happen again. Instead, they chose to humiliate and charge a 72 year old veteran who served in Vietnam, Desert Storm and Afghanistan. There was a better way to do this. Thanks Doctor, from a grateful nation.

  • Here is a thought … maybe if the government did more to punish the criminals then people would perhaps not need to feel as carrying any weapon necessary! The police put them in jail, but the laws don’t keep them in or rehabilitate them in many cases!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve wanted my concealed weapons permit for 2 reasons, I am in law enforcement, and may run into recently released clients.. have recieved multiple death threats at work… and threats towards my family.. I don’t have a permit as of yet, but plan to have it soon.

  • Capital A

    It’s pretty disapointing that the Sherrif would use getting a driver’s license as a comparision to obtaining a concealed carry permit. The problem with the comparision is that having a drivers license is considered a privilege and having a gun is a right. The dilemma is that if any good person would like to carry a displayed firearm on their own person, in public, there is a good likelihood that they would be stopped and harassed by the police. It is no wonder why permit carrying citizens want to keep them concealed. Would the Sherrif and general public rather see people with handguns strapped on their side in plain view or have them concealed discretely.

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