Republican Gov. Paul LePage of Maine signed a bill on Wednesday to allow residents to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
The new bill makes Maine one of a small number of states that allow residents to carry a hidden firearm without needing a permit, though over a dozen states have reportedly considered taking similar measures, Reuters reports.
Gun rights advocates applauded the bill, saying that requiring a permit for concealed carry does little to keep people safe.
“It really is a historic day in the state of Maine that this common-sense measure is finally signed into law,” Republican state Sen. Eric Brakey said, according to the Washington Times.
The new law, which passed with bipartisan support, would make it so that Maine residents over 21 years of age would be able to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, provided they’re not prohibited from owning a gun. The law also applies to active military members over 18, as well as veterans.
The passing of the bill has done little to end the debate over guns in Maine, with opponents arguing that the law puts the public and law enforcement officials in danger, the Washington Times reports.
“It’s mind boggling to me,” Kristen Kucera, a Maine resident and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America member, said. “As a concerned mom, I just can’t understand why they would put our kids in jeopardy like this.”
The law will reportedly go into effect in October.
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