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A Portland City Council committee voted last night to recommend a statewide ban on guns in public buildings such as City Hall. The recommendation has now been forwarded to the larger council for a vote.

Councilor Dan Skolnik, chair of the Public Safety Committee, says the ultimate goal is to find a lawmaker to sponsor statewide legislation. “I think it’s always appropriate to take a look at how we can make our communities safer,” he says.

The committee considered a ban exempting people with concealed-weapons permits, but decided against it.

Forrest Brown, a 29-year-old student at the University of Southern Maine who lives in Wiscasset, wore a handgun in a shoulder holster to the committee meeting.

Brown, a founding member of the Maine Open Carry Association, was among several people at the meeting opposing the measure. “I think it’s important to resist any measure that might estabilsh a precedent which further infringes on our Second Amendment rights,” he says.

The committee vote was 2 to 0, with the third councilor absent. Skolnik says he expects the City Council to take up the matter next month.

Source: MPBN

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