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Mills remains cautious as lawmakers propose changes to Maine’s gun laws

State lawmakers are proposing an array of changes to Maine’s gun laws, including instituting background checks for all private sales and transfers.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills told reporters during a noisy gaggle in the State House rotunda that she will consider each proposal, but noted that Maine voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have required background checks on private sales and transfers.

“You know, the people have already spoken on background checks and they’ve spoken pretty loud and clear. Thirteen out of 16 counties voted against background checks. That’s a significant thing to me,” Mills said.

The ballot initiative Mills refers to was rejected 52 percent to 48 percent in 2016.

Mills says she’ll review the new background check proposal and at least a dozen others if they reach her desk for final approval.

Included are measures that would prohibit people deemed unsafe from possessing a firearm, ensure safe storage and bar untraceable sales.

Gun control bills typically do not fare well in the Maine Legislature, which has loosened restrictions in recent years.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

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