AUGUSTA, Maine —
Gov. Janet Mills has signed an alternative to the Red Flag bill.
The bill, LD 1811, was crafted with the help of Gov. Mills’ office and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. State Sen. Michael Carpenter, D-Aroostook, said Mills signed the bill early Thursday.
The law allows police to take a person into protective custody if a medical professional agrees that the person poses a danger to themselves and others. Police will then have that person surrender their weapons temporarily. This is in opposition to a previous bill LD 1312, which would have allowed police to seek a court order to temporarily seize guns from individuals based on sworn affidavits from family or household members.
A judge would then hold a hearing within 14 days to decide if the person taken into custody is eligible to have their firearms returned or if their weapons should be held up to one year. The person in question can petition to have their weapons returned once during that time period.
Sixteen other states – including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Rhode Island – have passed some version of a red flag law to remove firearms from potentially dangerous individuals. The measures have been signed into law by both Democratic and Republican governors at a time when few other gun measures are gaining bipartisan traction amid the contentious debate over how best to respond to mass shootings.
Red flag laws infringe the second, fourth, and fifth amendments.