AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate voted 20-15 on Wednesday to advance legislation sponsored by Representative Vicki Doudera, D-Camden intended to protect Maine children from death and injury from loaded firearms.
LD 759 would amend the child endangerment laws to include unauthorized access to firearms for children under 16.
“Safe storage legislation saves lives and is sorely needed in our state,” said Doudera. “Sadly, there is yet another incident this week in which a Maine child has accessed an unsecured loaded firearm, this time with fatal results. We need to take a stand for children and make it crystal clear that loaded guns cannot be left unsecured around kids. I thank my colleagues in the Senate for working with me to pass LD 759.”
Twenty-seven states, including New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have taken similar actions to prevent children from accessing firearms.
Studies show approaches like LD 759 motivate adults to safely store their firearms and can prevent up to 32% of firearm deaths, including youth suicide, according to a news release.
LD 759 will now go to Governor Mills for her signature.
Doudera, a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, is serving her second term in the Maine House of Representatives. She chairs the Legislature’s Gun Safety Caucus and represents House District 94, which includes Camden, Islesboro and Rockport.