new 2022 bill: An Act to Establish the Safe Homes Program

Keep Maine families safe by properly securing prescriptions, firearms, and other weapons, says Department of Public Safety

Wed, 09/20/2023 - 1:15pm

    In honor of Safe Homes Awareness Month, the Department of Public Safety is encouraging Mainers to keep themselves and their families safe by properly securing their prescription drugs, firearms, and other dangerous weapons.

    In 2022 the Maine Legislature unanimously passed L.D. 1861, An Act to Establish the Safe Homes Program. The Program promotes the importance of safe prescription drug and weapons storage which will help reduce accidental gun deaths and prevent suicide. The program also makes storage devices more affordable by highlighting legislation from 2021 that created a sales tax exemption for devices specifically designed for securing firearms.

    “Maine has the highest firearm mortality rate in New England,” said DPS, in a news release.

    In 2022, 183 Mainers were killed by firearms, including 159 who died by suicide. In 2022 there were more than 10,000 overdoses in Maine. 716 were drug deaths, a 13 percent increase over the number of Mainers who died from overdoses in 2021.

    “The safe storage of weapons can reduce accidental gun-related deaths and keep weapons out of the hands of people who might plan to hurt themselves,” said DPS. “The safe storage of prescription drugs can help reduce accidental or misuse of medication.”