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Maine Lawmakers Considering Compromise 'Red Flag' Gun Measures

Maine lawmakers are considering an additional “red flag” bill that supporters say is designed to curb gun violence.

The bill, the result of negotiations between Gov. Janet Mills, gun rights groups and some gun safety advocates, would set up a process to evaluate a person’s mental health and determine whether they should be put in protective custody because they pose a threat to themselves or others. The person would be afforded due process before a judge.

Republican Sen. Lisa Keim from Dixfield is the sponsor of the bill.

“This legislation aims to strike a balance between protecting the public and individuals from a person likely to cause harm, while at the same time safeguarding that person’s constitutional rights,” she says.

Another measure under consideration in Augusta sets up a different process that would allow guns or other weapons to be temporarily taken away from a person exhibiting signs of posing a risk to themselves or others.

The two measures are expected to generate considerable debate.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.