© 2024 Maine Public | Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

Dozens of religious leaders hold gun protest at Cabela's in Scarborough

Faith leaders from across southern Maine held a gun protest in front of Cabela’s in Scarborough Saturday, to call attention to retailers who continue to sell assault style rifles despite mass shootings like the one in Lewiston October 25.

Members of the Thoughts, Prayers and Action group wrote to Cabela’s parent company Bass Pro Shops, calling on CEO Johnny Morris to stop selling assault style rifles and high magazine clips as well as increase the age to buy guns to at least 21.

Valerie Todd, one of the organizers of the protest, says after other shootings stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart stopped selling those items and Cabela’s should do the same.

“I’m hoping that the CEO of Bass Pro Shops has a crisis of conscience and decides to follow in the footsteps of his competitors and not profit from mass murder," Todd said.

Allen Ewing-Merrill, pastor of the Hope Gateway in Portland, says it’s hard to see his teenaged daughters come home terrified after lockdowns at school.

"As a father I can't say to them, 'Oh, that will never happen in your school', because it could. As we've learned recently in Maine, it can happen anywhere. We have to see change. It's time for some reasonable, commonsense gun control," Ewing-Merrill said.

Thoughts, Prayers and Action members say they are not against guns altogether and respect Maine’s hunting traditions.

Klara Tammany, chair of the board at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lewiston, says the protest was cathartic and healing but the trauma that resulted from the Lewiston mass shooting will last a long time.

"Weapons of war shouldn’t be used in our civic life. Until our political leaders can find the will to stop the sale of assault weapons I'm hoping places like this stop selling them," Tammany said.

Ewing-Merrill said he appreciates Senator Angus King’s proposal to regulate the manufacture and sale of gas-operated semi-automatic guns and hopes Senator Susan Collins supports gun control policy soon.

A Cabela’s manager asked the group to disperse but TPA stayed for two hours, holding signs, praying and singing songs of unity.

Bass Pro Shops did not respond to the religious leaders’ request to remove assault style rifles and high magazine clips and increase the age of sale of weapons to adults 21 and over.

Maine Public Radio's inquiry to Bass Pro Shops was not responded to by air time.