In a bipartisan effort to ensure safety for all Mainers, Governor Paul R. LePage submitted an emergency bill to temporarily block the release of concealed firearms permit holders' names, addresses and dates of birth to the public. The legislation, if passed as an emergency measure, is in response to information requests received by law enforcement agencies across the state.
The Legislature could enact the emergency legislation, sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader, Senator Troy Jackson, as early as Tuesday of next week. This would provide immediate protection for law-abiding concealed weapon permit holders while providing the Legislature time to properly consider Representative Corey Wilson's bill (LD 345), which would make this information permanently private.
"We must take immediate action to protect Mainers' personal information, while allowing debate on Representative Wilson's bill to proceed on the merits," said Governor LePage. "I hope the Legislature will act quickly to pass this bill and put the concerns of law-abiding Mainers at ease."
Emergency legislation, after enactment by the Legislature, takes effect immediately upon signature by the Governor. Additionally, a bill may be engrossed without reference to a committee under suspension of the Joint Rules. That means that the bill goes directly to the floor of the appropriate body for discussion and action. Engrossing without reference usually occurs when the bill is of an emergency nature and the time to go through the public hearing process is not available.