Maine legislators shot down a bill Tuesday that would have legalized the carrying of a concealed handgun without a permit, defeating it by a single vote.
“I can walk up and down the streets of Portland with my 9 millimeter on my hip and nobody can say anything to me,” Republican Rep. Aaron Libby, who authored the measure, told The Bangor Daily News
. “But as soon as I put my jacket on, on a rainy day like this, I am now a criminal.”
Defeated by a vote of 74-73, split mostly along party lines, the bill was heavily supported by Second Amendment advocates.
It would have made it legal for anybody not prohibited from owning a gun to carry one concealed without having to obtain a state-issued permit.
Libby told the newspaper most residents who apply for concealed handgun permits are law-abiding citizens, and time spent by police reviewing applicants and issuing permits could be better used fighting crime.
Maine's current law, which requires a permit to carry a concealed handgun but allows the open carrying of firearms without one, is identical to many other carry laws in states across the country.
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