January 29, 2020
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Despite what Michael Bloomberg says, Maine should allow concealed carry

George Danby | BDN
George Danby | BDN

With half-truths and outright lies, billionaire Michael Bloomberg is heading north to meddle with the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding people in Maine.

Bloomberg’s goal is to force his gun-control agenda on Americans one state at a time. His target is LD 652, the constitutional carry bill sponsored by state Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn.

In Maine, it is legal to openly carry a firearm without a permit. But under current law, if a man’s firearm is covered by a coat or a woman prefers to carry her gun in a purse, he or she is required to obtain a concealed carry handgun license. LD 652 simply extends the Maine open carry permitting guidelines to those who wish to carry a firearm for protection concealed.

So why is billionaire Bloomberg targeting this common-sense legislation for defeat? The answer is simple. It is part of his long-term objective to take away your Second Amendment rights and curtail our freedom.

Safely secured in his $20 million Hampton estate, Bloomberg is busy spending his fortune to fund a misinformation campaign attacking LD 652. He is hoping the lies will scare people and pressure lawmakers into defeating Brakey’s pro-Second Amendment legislation.

But the lies are easily discredited by the facts.

Bloomberg’s astroturf groups claim LD 652 allows violent felons to own firearms. That’s absurd. Felons are prohibited from possessing firearms, and this legislation does not change that simple fact.

They claim this legislation will make Maine a more dangerous place to live. Once again, the facts tell a different story. In the three states that have passed permitless concealed carry laws similar to the one proposed in Maine, murder rates have dropped. In Alaska, for example, the murder rate dropped 23 percent, 16 percent in Arizona and 8 percent in Wyoming. Earlier this year, Kansas became the fourth state to adopt permitless carry legislation, and it has been implemented without incident.

This isn’t the first time gun control groups have used scare tactics to try and kill pro-Second Amendment legislation. They did it in the early 1990s when states began adopting right-to-carry legislation. Since 1991, when the nation’s total violent crime rate reached an all-time high, 26 states have adopted right-to-carry laws. Was there an uptick in violent crimes after the passing of those laws? No. Instead, the violent crime rate has dropped to a 43-year low and the nation’s murder rate has declined by more than half.

Criminals think twice before committing crimes when they know people are carrying firearms. In fact, a study showed 40 percent of felons decided not to attempt one or more crimes for fear their prospective victims were armed.

Law-abiding Mainers have a fundamental right to keep and bear arms, and they deserve the facts. LD 652 does not allow violent criminals to possess a gun. All it does is provide honest people more freedom when exercising their right to self-protection.

Send Michael Bloomberg a message that freedom isn’t for sale. Call your legislators, and let them know you support LD 652.

John Hohenwarter is the state liaison for Maine for the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.

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