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A Shift in the Politics of Gun Safety in the Wake of Tragedy: Maine Members of Congress Call for Action on Gun Safety Legislation After Deadliest Mass Shooting of 2023

October 27, 2023

Rep. Jared Golden, Sen. Angus King, and Sen. Susan Collins Call for Strengthening Gun Safety Laws 

WASHINGTON — After a mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine killed 18 people and wounded 13 in the deadliest mass shooting of 2023, Maine federal lawmakers Rep. Jared Golden, Sen. Angus King, and Sen. Susan Collins called for strengthening our nation’s gun safety laws.

In a press conference yesterday, Rep. Jared Golden, a Marine veteran, reversed his previous stance on an assault weapons ban, saying, “the time has now come for me to take responsibility for this failure” and called on Congress to “ban assault rifles like the one used by the sick perpetrator of this mass killing in my hometown of Lewiston, Maine.” 

During the same press conference, Republican Senator Susan Collins said the shooting was the “worst mass shooting that the state of Maine has ever experienced” and called for restrictions on high-capacity magazines. Collins was one of 15 Republicans who voted for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Later, Independent Sen. Angus King echoed Collins in calling for restrictions on high-capacity magazines, calling them “one of the most dangerous parts of this kind of situation.”

“We welcome Rep. Golden, a Marine veteran, to the growing chorus of Americans who are demanding Congress take action to get weapons of war off our streets, and we applaud Senators Collins and King for their renewed commitment to keeping our communities safe from gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Their comments underscore the seismic shift we’ve seen on the politics of gun safety, and we urge Senators Collins and King to take the next step and join Rep. Golden in calling for the reinstatement of a bipartisan federal assault weapons ban.”

“I applaud Rep. Golden, Sen. King, and Sen. Collins for not only recognizing that stronger gun safety laws will save lives, but also that this is the will of the American people,” said Moms Demand Action executive director Angela Ferrell-Zabala. “Communities across the country are fed up with living in terror that they might be the next victims of a mass shooting made deadlier by easy access to weapons of war. We can’t afford to wait until the next tragedy to take action – we need it now.”

In an average year, 163 people die by guns in Maine. With a rate of 11.2 deaths per 100,000 people, Maine has the 39th-highest rate of gun deaths in the US. Statistics about gun violence in Maine are available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Rankings – which shows how Maine gun laws compared to those of other states – is available here

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