Council Sends Resolution on Firearms to Augusta; Leeman Votes No

By Carol McCracken (Post # 663)

Last night the City Council voted to send a Resolution to Augusta asking for the state to create legislation that would prohibit firearms in certain facilities where mass gatherings occur. The Resolution was introduced by Councilor Daniel S. Skolnik, Chair of the Public Safety Committee.

The only Councilor to vote against the Resolution was Cheryl Leeman who said she was moved by the passion on both sides of the issue. But, she continued, this Resolution is not a city council issue. “Talk to your state representatives,” she said if you want legislation like this passed up in Augusta. Councilor David Marshall said that because the Governor-elect has received strong support from the NRA, this is not a good time to propose this Resolution. His motion to postpone this item failed for lack of a second. Councilor Donoghue was not present for the vote, although he attended the meeting.

Speaking in favor of the Resolution was Tom Franklin, Hill resident, and a founding member of Maine Citizens Against Maine Violence. Franklin, who is a hunter, said that anyone who shows up at a large gathering of people with a gun is showing poor judgment. Shosana Hoose said she felt “uncomfortable and intimidated being in a room where people are carryng guns. ” The legislature might not pass it, but Portland needs to take a stand on it, she said. Mayor Mavdones said that while he didn’t keep a tally, he’d heard from more pople in Portland who supported the Resolution.

Several opponents of the Resolution from outside of Portland spoke against it; Wiscasset and elsewhere in the State.