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Pingree Urges Gun Control As Maine Delegation Condemns 'Evil' Mass Shootings

Willis Ryder Arnold
Maine Public/file
Maine 1st District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, at a news event in March.

Maine's congressional delegation is condemning the mass shootings this weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio that killed 29 peoeple, and injured several.Maine 1st District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, was the only member of the delegation to call directly for gun control in the wake of the shootings.  

"My heart is broken for the victims of the gun violence in El Paso and Dayton," Pingree says, in a statement. "These murderers have robbed dozens of their lives—and all Americans of the safety we should feel while going about our daily routines."

Pingree says she voted for two bills aimed at controlling gun sales, one to expand background checks to include nearly all sales, and the other to close a loophole in the background check system.

Pingree says the El Paso shooting was an act of "domestic terrorism. It’s outrageous that President Trump has disbanded the Department of Homeland Security’s domestic terror intelligence unit as acts of hate continue to plague our communities."

Maine 2nd District Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat, also described the El Paso shooting as hate motivated. "It’s undeniable that the atrocity in El Paso was motivated by hate and bigotry," Golden tweeted. "As a country, we must be clear-eyed about the anger and hatred that's leading to these acts of violence & we must come together to stand against it."

Independent Sen. Angus King's Twitter account linked to his past support for universal background checks and a crackdown on gun trafficking.  "My heart is with the victims and their families - but much more is needed than prayers; we must examine and address the underlying causes," King tweeted.


Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, called the shootings an "evil" that threatens "the fabric of our society. The vast majority of Americans care deeply about their friends, families, and neighbors. We have united in the wake of tragedies in the past, and we can do so again to stop this violence.”

Willis Ryder Arnold contributed to this story.