After the bloodiest mass shooting in Maine history, legislators are getting back to work while paying tribute to those who lost their lives, those who survived, and the first responders. Several gun safety measures, including revisions to the state’s yellow flag law—which permits a court to seize firearms from anyone experiencing a mental health crisis—are scheduled to be discussed during the session that the Lewiston shooting memorial will inaugurate.
The Maine Gun Safety Coalition is organizing a rally in support of victims and their families at the Hall of Flags.
Fixing “careless” legislation, ending the finger-pointing, and working together to avoid future catastrophes were all essential themes of Arthur Barnard’s passionate call to action. Barnard lost his son, Arthur Stout, in the shooting.
Senate President Troy Jackson and other legislative leaders have hinted at a possible update to Maine’s gun regulations, but they have been mum on the specifics. Assistants have expressed a desire for stakeholders to convene to garner consensus before proposing concrete wording.
Members of Congress took the opportunity on Wednesday to express their condolences in the House and Senate. Democratic Senator Peggy Rotundo urged her colleagues not to lose sight of what transpired in her community as a chorus from Lewiston High School sang the national anthem in the Senate.
There was another item on the agenda— Rep. John Andrews of the state asked Secretary of State Shenna Bellows to be impeached for denying Republican candidate Donald Trump a place on the primary ballot in the state due to his involvement in the assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
In a legislature controlled by Democrats, the specific steps to impeachment are not yet known, but they would include a House vote to go on and a Senate trial. In addition to proposals that were carried over from the previous session, lawmakers in Maine want to revisit a proposal to change the constitution to guarantee the right to abortion and another that would provide more autonomy to Native American tribes.