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GIFFORDS Urges Maine Legislators to Pass True Red Flag Law after Lewiston Mass Shooting

A strong extreme risk protection order law was introduced in the House of Representatives.

Washington DC — Yesterday, Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross of the Maine House of Representatives introduced LD 2283, which would create a process for “crisis intervention orders” similar to the red flag laws enacted by 21 other states. GIFFORDS, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, applauded the bill as a commonsense, popular measure to prevent further tragedies like the 2023 mass shooting in Lewiston. Red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection order laws, empower family members and law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from someone who shows signs of harming themselves or others.

Joe Platte, State Legislative Manager at GIFFORDS

“After the mass shooting in Lewiston, Mainers made it clear to their lawmakers that the state needs a red flag law. I’m proud to say that due to months of advocacy, a true red flag bill has been introduced today, and together, we will make sure it becomes law. As several critical bills are moving through the state legislature, we must look at every opportunity to strengthen Maine’s gun safety laws and fulfill promises made to honor the lives lost in Lewiston with clear action. GIFFORDS looks forward to working with Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, who’s sponsored this bill, and other leaders in the Maine legislature to pass a true red flag law to save lives.”

Maine’s current “yellow flag” law was put under the national microscope after a gunman killed 18 people and injured 13 more at a bowling alley and restaurant in Lewiston last October. The current law relies too heavily on law enforcement officers and depends on a mental health diagnosis. A true extreme risk protection order law balances law enforcement involvement and allows family members closer to the situation to intervene.

Yesterday, the Judiciary Committee also reported out bills to expand background checks, which Governor Janet Mills proposed, require a 72-hour waiting period, and a ban on devices that convert semi-automatic weapons into machine guns.


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