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Guns on School Property – January 16, 2018

L.D. 1761, An Act Regarding the Prohibition on the Possession of a Firearm on School Property, is up for a public hearing before the Education Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 24. This bill is opposed by the legislative committees of the Maine School Boards Association and Maine School Superintendents Association. We need you to contact your local legislators to urge them to oppose this bill and let members of the Education Committee know how you feel.

This bill is similar to a bill defeated last year, but we anticipate the vote could be close when it is finally decided on the House and Senate floor.

L.D. 1761 would allow a person to possess a firearm on school property in a motor vehicle as long as the person is dropping off or picking up a student and remains in the car, and the gun is not loaded and is in a locked container or locked firearms rack. We question how we will monitor compliance of this proposal and can easily imagine situations where a car and a gun are left unattended, even briefly.

This bill would remove the bright line currently in law that does not allow guns on school property with rare exceptions – the most notable being guns carried by law enforcement officers.

We believe the current prohibition of guns on school property makes a tragedy less likely to happen. And, it maintains that bright line to discourage future encroachments on a law, which is not a panacea, but one step in protecting our children from what is no longer the unimaginable.

To see the list of Education Committee members click here.

To find your local House or Senate member click here.

The hearing on L.D. 1761 is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Jan. 24 and will be held in the Education Committee Room 202 in the Cross Office Building next to the Statehouse.

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