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Maine Gov Unveils Proposals Aimed At Preventing Mass Shootings

Maine Gov. Janet Mills rolled out legislation on Wednesday she said will prevent dangerous people from possessing weapons and strengthen mental health services to help prevent future episodes like the Lewiston mass shooting, the Associated Press reports. Mills called for changes last month, three months after Army reservist Robert Card killed 18 people in the worst mass shooting in the history of the state. Card had a history of mental illness and erratic behavior before the shootings. Mills said there is broad support for the kind of changes in her proposals, which would establish a violence-prevention program at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The proposals need support in a state with a higher percentage of gun ownership than most of the Northeast.

Mills said she proposed “practical, common-sense measures that are Maine-made and true to our culture and our longstanding traditions while meeting today’s needs. They represent meaningful progress, without trampling on anybody’s rights, and they will better protect public safety." Maine would become 27th state to ban paramilitary training under a bill passed by House. One of Mills’ proposals would strengthen the extreme risk protection order law. Some law enforcers have said the current yellow flag law made it difficult to remove Card’s weapons despite clear warning signs. Mills said her change would allow law enforcement to seek a protective custody warrant to take a dangerous person into custody to remove weapons. Another proposal would extend the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to advertised, private sales of firearms. She would establish a statewide network of crisis centers so that a person suffering a mental health crisis could get care swiftly, Mills said. Card committed the shootings at a bowling alley and restaurant. He was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot. Card had been well known to law enforcement for months before the shootings, and a fellow reservist told a superior that Card was going to “snap and do a mass shooting.”


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