AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Should 18-year-olds be allowed to carry concealed handguns?
That’s just one of the questions Maine legislators will have to answer as they sort through 11 bills to change the state’s gun laws.
At a series of public hearings before the Criminal Justice Committee, one of the biggest issues was a proposal to lower the age limit for concealed weapons. Current law states that anyone over age 21 can carry a concealed handgun without a permit.
Republican Sen. Eric Brakey says 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds are allowed to carry a gun in the open, and should also be allowed to carry concealed. But gun control advocates opposed the bill, saying those younger people may lack the judgment needed to safely carry.
That committee heard details of 11 gun bills, in all. Besides the age for concealed carry, they include bills to:
• Prohibit a government gun registry
• Require proof of training to buy a gun
• Prohibit discharge of a gun within 300 feet of boat ramp
• Allow municipalities to ban guns from voting booths
• Require firearms dealers to provide gun locks with each gun they sell
• Allow hospitals to prohibit guns
• Eliminate the requirement for drivers to tell police they have a concealed gun during a traffic stop
• All those bills face votes by the Criminal Justice Committee and the full Legislature