|June 10, 2019
Firearm Safe Storage Bill Fails in House, and Other State House Highlights of the Week
LD 1313, the "Death With Dignity" bill, has finally passed both House and Senate and is now on the Governor's desk for signature. The final votes were 73-72 in the House and 19-16 in the Senate.
LD 379, the safe firearm storage bill, failed by three votes in the House last week. There were two members excused and one seat is vacant, but 17 members were listed as "absent" and did not vote on the bill. It now goes to the Senate, but passage is highly unlikely at this point. LD 85, which provides tax incentive for the purchase of gun safes and other locking mechanisms, has passed both chambers and is on the Special Appropriations Table, where its future will be determined by the Appropriations Committee when it decides where the money will be spent after the budget is decided.
That leaves LD 1811, the so-called "yellow paper" bill, as the only remaining firearm safety bill. It would provide for a medical assessment of any person placed into protective custody by law enforcement due to a concern over the person's risk of harm to self or others with a dangerous weapon. The assessment would determine whether there is a "likelihood of serious harm," after which the person's firearms and other dangerous weapons could be removed from his control. The MMA, Maine Hospital Association, and others are working closely with the Governor's Chief Legal Counsel and members of the Judiciary Committee to craft a bill acceptable to all. It has the support of both the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine and the Maine Gun Safety Coalition. A public hearing was held on the bill, and the work session was adjourned without vote after several hours of discussion. A Committee vote is expected this Tuesday.
The legislature's committee work is almost finished. On June 3rd the Legislature moved to a 5-day-per-week schedule of full sessions in the House and Senate, where members will debate divided committee reports and process unanimous reports through the consent calendar with a goal of meeting the June 19th statutory adjournment deadline.
Governor Mills has already signed into law over 250 bills this session. In the coming weeks we will feature a discussion of some of those bills relating particularly to health care and the medical profession. Watch this space.
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