Bigshooter, Is it possible to get more reciprocity now that the Repubs are in?
Absolutely. Were gonna see a lot of changes now that a "new sheriff" is in town. This is a real sore spot with me as I have watched people sit on their hands while making half-hearted attempts to do what the legislature demanded they do for several years. A few years ago, after lots of complaining about stalling we ended up with Deleware as the only State interested but I be that I could find several others is persued with a little enthusiesm. I have the original report around here somehwere and I'll dig it out. As someone who can carry in 30+ states I speak from experience when I say that most states are much tougher than Maine to get a permit in, and there is no reason we can't or won't accept those. Many are willing to accept ours if we agree to take theirs too so it could be a fast moving project. I'll talk with "the Gov" about it and see if we can get some momentum rolling. It's been a farce long enough IMHO.
Other than direction from the Governor, does the AG or AG's office drive the process?
There was an actual piece of legislation passed MANDATING that Maine look into entering into agreements with similar States. After years of stalling and doing nothing, several of us started getting very loud about it. After all, it wasn't a request, it was a MANDATE and not up to someone sitting on their hands who doesn't like it. Miraculously something started happening and we sent letters to 6 or 8 states with requests and supposidly only 1 (at the time it was 1, Deleware) said sure. Someone told me recently that there were a few others added but I am not sure about that.
It is long overdue though and we should not be disarming lawabiding visitors to the State of Maine. The bad guys don't check theirs at the state line like the goood guys do. Duh. Its so simple it's stupid.
The responses I’ve received to inquiries to the various agencies point to two problems that need to be solved to get beyond the six states that we currently have formal agreements with (DE, SD, LA, ND, WY, AR). First is the Maine authorities’ interpretation of “substantially equivalent” issue requirements. This can probably be solved by the post election replacement of a few politicians and appointees like you guys mention.
The second part of the problem isn’t as easy. Several states won’t entertain reciprocity with Maine because they don’t think our training requirements are up to their standards and/or because the background check requirements aren’t concrete enough. (I can’t find the statute for citation now, so maybe it’s changed, but as I remember it, the issuing authority in Maine is only required to do criminal record checks with New Hampshire and Massachusetts. National checks are at his discretion)
In my opinion, the best solution is the proverbial “comprehensive reform” of our carry permit laws. That is, follow the Alaska and Arizona models of Constitutional Carry for all persons not prohibited by Federal law, combined with provisions for a state issued permit with solid, clear training and background check requirements to give us solid ground for negotiation of reciprocity agreements.
Good point s. This is where it gets tricky. I looked into that aspect a few years ago and this is what I found.
Because Maine's law is a "Shall Issue" policy and is fairly loose in the permit process, many states don't accept our permit. For example, the way we issue is by "Providing Proof of Proficiency to the Issuing Authority." There is really no baseline for the "Proof of Proficiency" and that seems to be the stickler. The vast majority of CLEOs want an NRA Certified Basic Pistol or Personal Protection certificate. I would guess 95% or better. This is up to standard of the other states. BUT, because it is not manditory, they are uncomfortable with the fact that a CLEO can decide what HE considers Proof of Proficiency and it may NOT meet the requirements of some other states. At least this is the way it was last time I really dug in.
I thought that since the majority of CLEOS require this class anyway, if we just made that the State standard we would be good to go. I never moved on it, just floated it out there and it was met with huge resistance, to my surprise. The resistance came from folks who really don't care about traveling out of State and didn't think it was wise to make it any more difficult to get a CCW here in Maine for Maine residents. I guess I can't argue that either.
So, where to go from here? I think for starters since our standard is at the low end of the spectrum, and most other states have tougher standards than Maine in that one area, it is only logical that we extend a welcome to other States residents to carry legally in Maine as a good will gesture. After all, these are the law abiding people. It doesn't make sense to have them check their guns at our border does it? I don't think so. In the meantime we may get a few other states who will accept us in th eprocess and we can work towards standardizing our system without burdoning the Maine gun owners and meeting the requirements of the National standard at the same time. Not sure.
I think the most important thing is to be active on this and moving ahead instead of just staying in "stall mode" making no movement at all.
I am very glad this thread and discussion has come up. Maybe we can invite others to participate in it as an open "electronic round-table" to get to the bottom of this quandry.
Any more thoughts?
I hope there will be opportunities for us to move forward now on gun rights instead of treading water like we have been for a while.
I wonder how much of a hard sell it would be politically to get legislation passed to honor permits from states that won't accept ours? I have a feeling that there would be big resistance to it. There are lots of people who are going to say, why should we give out of staters something if they're not willing to give us the same in return?
I also think that the perception of changes to the way requirements are written into the current system would be that we're giving up ground and adding new requirements to exercise a right of birth. The MGOA / Jeff Weinstein fiasco a few years back showed that.
I’ve heard Dr. Lott say several times recently that his latest data shows that training requirements lessen the number of people willing to jump through the hoops to get a permit. This becomes especially noticeable when the training requirement is more than can be easily completed in a single session. According to Lott, states with those training requirements have higher crime with no measurable safety benefit.
That's why I think the way to go is Constitutional Carry (no permits required for people not on the Feds prohibited list), with a state issued permit with new clearly defined requirements as an option for those of us who travel and want to stop paying lots of money to Florida, Utah, New Hampshire etc. for non-res permits. That keeps all of the gun rights people united on the same side because we all get something positive out of it. Plus another selling point could be to point to the revenue stream that flows into Florida and Utah public safety departments. They can hardly keep up with the number of people willing to pay for their permits. Maybe Maine DPS could get a piece of that pie.
This law suit might also apply
"Second Amendment Challenge to Illinois Ban on Non-Residents’ Possession of Guns May Proceed"
I long for Maine gun laws as I am now a resident of Maryland. Finally got a Castle doctrine passed here but getting a carry permit is nearly impossible for average citizen. It is definately not a shall issue state.
All gun laws are tricky here. An example, my mini-14 with a collaspsable stock would require a wating period here. If I bought a mini-14 with regular rifle stock and bought a "kit" to change it out at same time I could walk out door with both with no wait.
AR-15 with heavy barrel, no wait. With regular barrel, waiting period. Buying a hand gun here is very tedious and a long wait. FFL have to know their stuff here to stay out of trouble with laws that are far from uniform. Many online sites won't even try to sell a gun here. This seems to raise the local prices.
Wow! There must not be any crime in MD. ;-)
"Any more thoughts?"
We could start with reciprocity with NH. This would give us CCW in Northern New England.
Two years ago, somebody who does not understand Republicans scheduled the county caucuses during the convention at a school. My son had dropped me off at the convention for the day because there was no parking anywhere near the little hall where the convention was held. When we found out where the caucuses were scheduled there became a separate caucus of NRA and GOA members out front because we could not go into the building. It's illegal for people with concealed weapons to enter a school while carrying. I suppose we could have drawn straws and had one person out front hold a couple of bushels of handguns while the rest of us went to our caucuses. It just didn't occur to us.
Two decades ago the insiders in Hallowell didn't understand the grass roots. Two years ago they still didn't. I was hoping for progress. I don't see it yet. Any guesses where the next state committee meeting is scheduled? What a surprise; It's at a school! Somebody please print out a copy of the platform and hand it to the staffer that schedules these things.
"Bear" means carry.
This thread started a little over a year ago with optimism that Republicans would do something positive for reciprocity. They've been a real disappointment. In a year's time, holders of Maine permits have gained one state on the reciprocity list (Pennsylvania). Under the Baldacci administration we gained three states in each of the two prior years, 2009 & 2010.
This is something I have been working my tail off for several years on. I keep running into walls. There are issues that make problems that outweigh the solutions I never even dreamed of. Since it is late and I am on a mobile device I can't go into detail right now, but I assure you that there are plenty of irons in the fire in this area. I'll chime back in very soon with details.
Even with reciprocity, do you think Bloomberg would let you carry a concealed pistol in Times Square?
At the core of the confusion over what is the best test for a qualifying standard one can find the insecurities of government ilk. If there is anything that pains a politician it’s the inherent risk they feel they assume by allowing a common man to take his own responsibly seriously. In the mind of the authorizing agent, his signature on your permit is akin to political ramifications. Basically if someone goes Postal they don’t want their name on the permit, but the idea of removing themselves from the process is counter to their regulatory objectives.
Where is the harm in allowing law abiding citizens the right to keep their firearms undercoat?
It's been a long time coming, but some good news today... it looks like LD868 "An Act To Remove Limitations on Reciprocity for Concealed Handguns Permits" Sponsored by Senator Paul Davis, passed the House and is on it's way to the Governor. It doesn't resolve the issues with Maine's permit being unacceptable to some other states, but it's a step in the right direction.
From the Legislature's Bill Text Webpage:
This bill removes the authority of the Chief of the State Police to enter into reciprocity agreements and eliminates the required equivalency provisions and simply recognizes a concealed handgun permit issued to a person by that person's state of residence if that person's state of residence honors a permit to carry a concealed handgun issued under Maine law.
Link to Legislature's status page
Link to another AMG 2A forum discussion with additional information.