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Maine Strengthened Gun Laws Despite Partisan Divisions

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Lawmakers of different political stripes put aside their differences in Maine to strengthen restrictions on gun ownership for people convicted of domestic violence crimes.

    The state Legislature passed a law last year that keeps domestic violence criminals from owning guns for five years after the end of their sentences. Supporters say the law goes beyond federal standards to protect victims of domestic violence and punish abusers.

    Passing the law required cooperation between the Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House. Legislators then overrode a veto by Republican Gov. Paul LePage. The governor supported the concept but argued that the ban wasn't lengthy enough.

    Maine was the site of 24 firearm-related domestic homicides from 2006 to 2014. That is more than New Hampshire and Hawaii, the states closest to Maine in population.