House Bill 949/Legislative Document 1370 Would Allow People to Carry Hidden, Loaded Weapons on Campus, Including in Sensitive Places Such as Classrooms, Day Care Facilities, Hospitals and Student Mental Health Centers
AUGUSTA, Maine – The Maine chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the statements below in opposition to House Bill 949/Legislative Document 1370. This dangerous legislation would force public universities, colleges and community colleges to allow people as young as 18 who have concealed carry permits, and adults 21 and over, regardless of whether they have permits, to carry hidden, loaded guns on public university campuses — including in sensitive places such as classrooms, day care facilities, university hospitals and even student mental health centers.
Nationwide, polling shows that 95 percent of college presidents and 94 percent of college faculty oppose guns on campus. Currently colleges and universities in Maine set their own policies for firearms regulations.
STATEMENT FROM LORRY FLEMING, A VOLUNTEER WITH THE MAINE CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“As the mother of a son attending the University of Maine, I am horrified that Maine lawmakers are considering legislation to allow people as young as 18 to carry guns on public university campuses. Bringing loaded weapons into an environment that involves impulsive behavior, stress, depression and anxiety, along with risky behavior and party culture, is not only frightening, but foolish. Students like my son shouldn’t have to worry about guns in classrooms and at off-campus housing. Our university system is overwhelmingly safe. This legislation is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist – and one that will put our campus communities at greater risk of gun violence according to research. I urge our elected representatives to reject HB 949/LD 1370.”
STATEMENT FROM LISA LEDWIDGE, A NURSING PROFESSOR AT BOWDOIN COLLEGE AND A VOLUNTEER WITH THE MAINE CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Before I joined Bowdoin, worked at Southern Maine Community College and never doubted that my students and I were safe on campus. College is a time of learning, but also a time of high stress for many students – adding guns into the equation would simply make our campuses less safe. Maine is a state with a proud sporting and hunting tradition, and our public colleges and universities already have the ability to decide who can carry and possess guns on campus, and under what circumstances. This system works because universities know their campuses best. HB 949/LD 1370 would substitute the judgement of Augusta politicians over that of local educators. That makes no sense – and it isn’t the Maine way.”