Lawmakers at odds on keeping guns out of hands of some

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers say they want to keep guns out of the hands of certain individuals, but they remain divided over the details.

The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and Thursday began weighing a new bill aiming to take away “dangerous weapons” including firearms from individuals.

Maine law allows officers to take a person into protective custody for a mental health evaluation. The bill would require that person to surrender dangerous weapons if a medical practitioner decides such access is seriously harmful.

Then, a judicial hearing held within 14 days could extend those restrictions for one year.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ chief counsel, Derek Langhauser, called the bill a compromise and step forward.

Some Democrats and Republicans question the bill’s impact, complexity and whether it would stigmatize those with mental illness.

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