Sens. Carney, Rotundo celebrate Maine Senate’s initial passage of suite of bills to reduce gun violence, bolster public safety

Posted: April 12, 2024 | Senator Carney, Senator Rotundo

AUGUSTA — On Friday evening, the Maine Senate voted in favor of a suite of bills to help improve public safety and decrease firearm-related violence and deaths in Maine, including suicide and homicide.

In response, Sen. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, and Sen. Anne Carney, D-Cape Elizabeth, chair of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, released the following statements:

Sen. Rotundo:

“My community continues to experience heartbreak and trauma. Greater gun safety and mental health support are of paramount importance. Maine people should be able to feel safe sending their children to school, having a drink with a friend after work, or bowling with their children in the evening. I can’t bring back the sons, daughters, grandparents and parents who lost their lives on Oct. 25. I can’t alleviate the pain of those injured that evening or the pain of the survivors.

“We also know that no piece of legislation can fully prevent all suicides or homicides. However, these bills can lessen gun violence in general and help to save lives and create safer and healthier communities. I believe we should leave the 131st Legislature being able to tell our constituents that we worked hard and compromised to come up with real solutions to reduce gun violence.”

Sen. Carney: 

“During my work on gun safety legislation, I have come to appreciate the strong policy disagreements among members of this body. I’ve also come to appreciate the one area in which we all seem to agree — firearms should be kept out of the hands of people who will hurt themselves or others. Last year, Maine was rocked by mass shootings. The unthinkable happened in our communities. At the same time, far too many Mainers continue to die by firearm suicide every year. Suicide is the top cause of firearm-related death in Maine for the years data is available. In 2021, there were 178 deaths by firearms. Of these, 158 were suicides. The simple fact is that these bills will save lives. 

“I want to thank everyone who came to the State House for the public hearings on these bills, who shared their perspectives and personal stories. I’m proud of the work that went into these measures, and I’m hopeful to see them become law.”

Bills in the suite passed on Friday: