Blog 3/22/24

Weekly Spotlight 3/22/24 – 3/28/24

New revelations show existing laws could have thwarted Maine killer

According to new reporting by The Reload, it has become abundantly clear that existing gun laws in the state of Maine could have stopped the deranged man who killed 18 people and injured 13 others in an incident last fall.  An independent commission examined the case and found that Maine law enforcement “had sufficient probable cause to take Robert Card Jr. into protective custody under Maine’s Yellow Flag law and to remove his firearms.” 

The commission’s findings reflect a common thread across several other high-profile mass killings in recent years, which is the issue of gunmen already being on law enforcement’s radar with sufficient laws in place to arrest them but little to no action being taken.  It’s an unfortunate reality we have to grapple with as a society, but what’s clear is that additional laws restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners are not the answer to our problems. 

For example, the debate in Maine has moved into the state legislature, where many lawmakers are advocating for new gun control measures – everything from “red flag laws” to “assault weapons” bans.  This is all being done in response to the tragic Lewiston murders.  However, much of the legislation that has been introduced will ultimately curb the freedoms of law-abiding Mainers rather than address the root cause of violence or provide better resources for police to adequately enforce existing laws.  This is the fundamental problem with the gun control platform.  Their “solutions” do not address any real issues; they just target responsible gun owners. 

Legislation like “assault weapon” bans or “red flag” laws, while well-intentioned, are just infringements on fundamental self-defense rights.  They will make states like Maine less safe and less accessible.  Lawmakers should instead focus on enforcing laws already in place.  Furthermore, additional resources for firearms education and training and laws that empower law-abiding gun owners – for example, banning “gun-free zones” – would help foster a culture of responsible gun ownership and keep communities safe from violent threats. 

Tragedies like last year’s Lewiston killings take an immeasurable toll on communities, but the response should be level-headed and solutions-oriented.  We hope Maine lawmakers will consider the consequences of further restrictions on their citizens’ right to defend themselves. 

Join us in advocating for sensible legislative solutions that will help save lives!


Colorado lawmakers are set for a daylong hearing Tuesday about a proposed ban on most semi-automatic rifles with hundreds of people signed up to share their support or opposition. House Bill 24-1292 would prohibit the manufacture, import, transfer, purchase and sale of so-called “assault weapons” in Colorado. The bill provides a list of would-be banned features, such as a threaded barrel and pistol grip, and an extensive list of specific firearm models. People who already own these types of firearms would be allowed to keep them.

As Virginia General Assembly members and employees showed up to one of the final workdays of the legislative session, the perennial debate over guns got violently real. An unknown perpetrator fatally shot a man at the “Government Center” bus stop between Richmond City Hall and Capitol Square, causing a brief lockdown on the second-to-last day of the session. Before the day was over, Gov. Glenn Youngkin had vetoed one gun bill and signaled strong skepticism of another, his first actions on the more than 30 gun-related bills Democratic lawmakers sent him this year. Most of the bills passed along party lines with opposition from Republicans.

Hollywood and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are teaming up via CBS’s S.W.A.T. to include gun control messages during the show. For example, CNN reported that in one episode, actor Shemar Moore’s character Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson comes home from a shift as a cop and makes sure to take his service firearm to the closet and lock it up before sitting down to talk with his wife.

A federal judge in Illinois has found that the Constitution protects gun rights of noncitizens who enter the United States illegally. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman on Friday ruled that a federal prohibition on illegal immigrants owning firearms is unconstitutional as applied to defendant Heriberto Carbajal-Flores. The court found that while the federal ban is “facially constitutional,” there is no historical tradition of firearm regulation that permits the government to deprive a noncitizen who has never been convicted of a violent crime from exercising his Second Amendment rights.