All Maine Matters

June 2006



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Anti-Gun Senator Kills Own Domestic Violence Bill
Sen. Strimling (D-Portland) Blames the NRA For Legislative Failure
By Jeff W. Zimba

LD1938 (An Act to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence) was sponsored by Senator Ethan Strimling (D-Portland) and failed to become law this past legislative session. This bill, simply enough, would have required that if someone who was under a Protection From Abuse Order (PFA) tried to purchase a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer, the person who filed the order against that person would be notified.

Representative Josh Tardy (R-Newport) introduced two common sense amendments to this bill. One asked that if a PFA is filed against someone wrongfully or without merit, that the person filing the PFA could be held accountable legally and financially. The second asked that if firearms are confiscated from someone who has a PFA filed against them, that the firearms be treated and stored properly. The National Rifle Association even supported this bill with the Amendments.

Nothing in the original bill, or either of the amendments, seemed to be anything but commonsensical, but both amendments were met with a huge amount of opposition from Senator Strimling and others in his camp. The first Amendment relating to the legal accountability of filing a PFA was eventually dropped in order to be debated later in an in-depth legislative session. This left only the amendment about proper handling and storage of confiscated firearms.

Under intense pressure from anti-gun forces, House Speaker John Richardson (D-Brunswick) ruled the amendment was germane and allowed a vote in the House. At the urging of Senator Strimling the Senate disagreed. When it looked like the entire bill would be placed in jeopardy because of this rabid opposition, the amendment was even dropped by Representative Josh Tardy and replaced by an amendment drafted by Rep. Janet Mills (D-Farmington). The Mills amendment simply required the Criminal Justice Academy to include proper firearm handling and storage in its training.

The bill eventually ended up being killed in the Senate just because of their unwillingness to accept the original LD1938 with this amendment and they would not budge on their position. Due to the inability of the House and Senate to reach an agreement the bill could no longer move forward and it was dead in the water.

Since the bill stopped moving forward and had little or no chance of being resurrected, the blame game has been on in full force. Moving at light speed in his typical and predictable manner, Senator Strimling immediately began blaming the National Rifle Association for the defeat of the bill.

The amendment to this bill that in its final form would have only provided training to our law enforcement officers to properly care for and store potentially valuable firearms, was just too much for Senator Strimling to sign on with. Speaking of the NRA, Strimling was quoted saying, “They came in, and they threw their power around, and decided that it was more important to have something that had nothing to do with the bill than trying to confront domestic violence in this state.”

Speaking of her own amendment Rep. Janet Mills (D-Farmington) said, “I drafted my amendment myself; it is not an NRA amendment, it is a Janet Mills Amendment. It simply accommodated the concerns on both sides about training of law enforcement officers.”

Sorry Senator Strimling, the emperor has no clothes and you have made it painfully apparent over the years. The past legislative session when you sponsored an anti-gun bill that called for the CONFISCATION of legally owned firearms from residents of the State of Maine; your true colors were streaming like a rainbow. When you sponsored a bill that advocated the SEIZURE and FORFEITURE of legally owned private property from law-abiding citizens in your own State, your intensions were, and will forever be obvious. Your relationship with and your constant political backing, from those who do their best to orchestrate the will of the out-of-state anti gun hate groups, speaks volumes about your unspoken intensions. Because of your own actions, your political number is up Senator Strimling. Any bill that bears your name will forever be held as suspect and studied and scrutinized.

The good, honest, law abiding citizens of the State of Maine will never, ever be fooled by you and your false intensions again.
LD1938 was not a partisan bill. It had support from both sides of the political aisle. Amendments and key positions about its passage were drafted and supported by both Democrats and Republicans. There was no left versus right contention or conflict anywhere in sight. There was nothing in this bill or any of its amendments that warranted a failure. The only reason this bill failed is because of the selfishness of the anti-gun lobby and the actions of its puppets, and no amount of smoke and mirrors will ever cover that up. If there was a shot fired that killed this bill, it is obvious to anyone who looks into the facts a little, that the shot was self-inflicted.

Jeff Zimba is a registered Maine Master Guide and Outdoor Writer residing in Fairfield. He has been writing about firearm issues for 20 years.

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