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Volunteers with Maine Chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Rally for Gun Safety in Augusta

March 13, 2024

Annual Advocacy Day Comes Less Than Six Months After Mass Shooting in Lewiston 

AUGUSTA, ME — Today, volunteers and survivors with the Maine chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, gathered for their annual Advocacy Day at the statehouse to meet with lawmakers and advocate for gun safety measures to be passed this legislative session. Volunteers, advocates and survivors were joined by the Executive Director of Moms Demand Action, Angela Ferrell-Zabala for a rally ahead of legislator meetings.

“Maine is a state with a long history of responsible gun ownership and looking out for each other — and that’s why advocates here believe in common sense laws that will prevent gun violence,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “The bills and policies in discussion are a testament to years of grassroots organizing and working to find common ground on gun safety with people from all over the state. Our volunteers will keep on showing up because they know that a safer Maine is possible.”

“Moms Demand Action volunteers have been advocating for stronger gun safety laws in Maine for years…While our great state continues to heal from the Lewiston mass shooting, these gun safety bills will go to a vote, and we implore our lawmakers to do the right thing,” said Kathleen McFadden, a volunteer with the Maine chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We urge them to honor the lives stolen and the communities impacted by voting to pass gun safety legislation. It’s time that Maine adopts research-driven policies proven to save lives.” 

“Students are here today because gun violence is the number one killer of our generation. We can’t afford to not be here,” said Lianna Holden, founder of the Freeport High School Students Demand Action chapter. “Governor Mills and our lawmakers have an opportunity this session to pass basic, common-sense gun laws that will save lives. There’s a handful of gun safety bills moving through the statehouse right now and we’ll make sure they get across the finish line.”

This year’s advocacy day comes less than six months after the mass shooting in Lewiston that killed 18 people and wounded 13 others, the deadliest shooting in Maine’s history. In the wake of this tragedy, volunteers have been calling for stronger gun safety measures to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of those who could be a danger to themselves or others, including a 72-hour waiting period for firearms purchases, a prohibition on devices that enable semiautomatic firearms to function like machine guns including auto sears and bump stocks, the creation of an Office of Violence Prevention, background checks on all unlicensed firearm sales and a real, true Extreme Risk Protection Order law. 

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. More information about gun violence in Maine is available here

To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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