Sabattus selectmen not ready for a firearms mandate

SABATTUS — Selectmen Tuesday night declined to let the town vote on a proposal to require heads of households to own firearms.

Douglas McIntire/Sun Journal

David Marsters listens as Sabattus town selectmen discuss the ordinance he proposed mandating all heads of households to own a firearm.

Resident David Marsters proposed the vote on the ordinance, but selectmen sided with the police chief, who opposed the measure.

"I'm a strong believer in the Second Amendment," police Chief Anthony Ward said. "People also have a right not to bear arms."

The chief said the proposal could create problems. "Criminals are mobile," he said, and that thieves could potentially see Sabattus as an easy target for break-ins and firearm theft.

Ward also was concerned that the proposal could potentially put guns in the hands of dangerous individuals. He said some people, even those who might be able to pass a background check, should not be armed.

Marsters wanted the people to decide. "My request is to put this on the ballot for the residents to vote on it," he said.

He cited his 23 years of military service and how every family "had a .50-caliber machine gun," to protect the house.

Selectman Paul Gagne asked Marsters, "Are you going to force me to have a gun if I don't want one?" When Marsters said that there would be no penalty for noncompliance, Gagne responded, "Then why have an ordinance?"

Marsters said that he was looking to the future, claiming that it would protect Sabattus if the government ever restricted gun ownership.

Selectman Andre Marquis voiced discomfort with the proposal. "I personally don’t want to be the board member to force people to have a weapon," he said.

He urged Marsters to go through the petition process to put a citizen's initiative on the next ballot. Such an initiative would require Marsters to collect at least 202 signatures by May 2.

Selectman Mark Duquette expressed concern about those with undiagnosed illnesses or with mentally ill children in the house. He asked Marsters what would happen if someone broke in and stole his gun. "Would I have to buy a new one?" he asked.

Marsters said people should lock up their guns. Duquette asked Marsters if he should ask an intruder to wait while he unlocked his gun.

Sabattus resident Irene Breton expressed concern about civilians owning militarized weapons such as the AK-47. "They say we have a right to bear arms, but when was that written? Are we at war?" she asked.

Amedeo Lauria voiced support. "Look what’s going on around the country right now," he said. "There are places you cannot own a gun." Lauria however, said such an ordinance should be worded differently, that it should say Sabattus will pass no laws infringing on the right to own a gun.

The final vote fell far short of Marsters' goal, with four opposing, no votes in favor and two abstaining.

Sabattus is not the first town in Maine to attempt such a measure. Bowerbank, a town that borders Dover-Foxcroft and is home to 116 residents, passed a similar ordinance in June 1994 by a vote of 26-11.

The ordinance, which is still active, exempts seasonal residents, according to a Morning Sentinel report at the time, and allows exceptions for those who are opposed to weapons on principle, for those with physical or mental disabilities, felons and “paupers.”

According to former Bowerbank Selectman Stephen Rainsford, the law is “just sort of a tongue-in-cheek thing.”

“We never enforced it and probably never would, but the truth of the matter is that everybody in town owns guns anyway,” except the summer people who vacation along Sebec Lake, he said.

dmcintire@sunjournal.com

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.

Advertisement

Comments

Nuts!!!

This guy is nuts and needs a hobby. He has been living in this Rambo bubble for most of his life, and I'm sure all the years of training has done something to his head. Like I said in another post on this guy....he should move back to Malden... the NRA has done a fine job putting these guys on edge about firearms being taken away...if they would read on their own, President Obama never said anything about taking away their toys. I think the issue is the background checks, and making sure the guns don't get into the wrong hands. I live in Sabattus and I'm glad to have had this proposal "SHOT DOWN"...that will be the day when the NRA fanatics try to drum up more business for there guns...not everyone is wanting to own them, so get that part straight gun nuts!!!!

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Just where was it that every family had 50 Cal machine guns????

I could go for a 50 Cal, I would just build the turitt on top of my trailer. Now that would be fun, and productive to. Just imagine, after a couple of weeks, no more racoons in the trash cans. and we could just kiss those pesky squirrels in the bird feeder good bye. I'm heading down to Walmart now, and get a "Rambo" wig, and bandana. I'm going to try and organize all the local families together next week for a good old fashioned shoot-out, I mean cook-out. to celebrate our independence.......

Amedeo Lauria's picture

Sorry Jerry...

the US Constitution was put in place to limit the power of the Federal Government, and codifies those limitations.

See they were concerned about absolute power corrupting those who have it, and they were right, regardless of those who think the document is obsolete.

Yes, those darn capitalist, providing legal products to legal users! OMG and they make a profit! THE HORROR!

Oh by the way....nothing is here to stay...one example...the Dinosaurs!

Amedeo Lauria's picture

Ron, yes, the NRA does the heavy lifting for gun owners...

and supporters of the Second Amendment of of US Constitution for the price of a small annual membership fee.

The NRA keeps an eye on restrictions on our Second Amendment rights and challenge infringement where ever they may come up. They also support candidates and elected officials who value our rights as well.

We can't expect our current administration's justice department to do that, now can we?

Also, we are just fine in Sabattus, thanks for your concern.

BTW, great observation Kathie!

RONALD RIML's picture

Amedeo: I was a member of the NRA forty-some years ago......

When they were sane.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Ditto

I too, until the crazy loon Heston, which was followed by the current cookoo, was enough for me also.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

NRA cares for PROFIT

Once the smoke clears, from the smoking mirrors, they only want to see large manufactures to make huge profits for the thousands of shares they hold, that was given to them, that is why they are filthy rich.

This is big business and your tiny monetary contribution is a hook, that is why their newly suckered members that only paid half of that membership fee, to off set the thousands they lost in membership. You alll sound like a children with your toys being taken out of the sandbox while the real dangerous ones are set aside for the big boys to play with, meaning the military.

ANY responsible Administration would and should care about peoples safety, the pursuit to happiness...THAT is what the Constitution was set in place for to PROTECT and serve the people, meaning the 2nd Amendment is here to stay, but only paranoid, gullible fools would think differently.

We hold nothing in contrast to other country's who have gun overlook, that don't have 300 million guns floating around, like this country with more killed by guns than automobiles. Gun control means that laws are set to protect the innocent from those that want to sell and gives guns for profit and killing.

I own guns and I ain't freaking out with the sky is falling because the NRA said so, but they sure know how to sucker those in, that want to increase the profits and their wealth of the gun makers and the sellers.

KATHRYN PENDLETON's picture

I'd rather

be guilty of a bit of paranoia than wearing rose colorored glasses. You really think our government cares about the constitution and due process? Not in this administration!

RONALD RIML's picture

More so than the last.

Thank God.......

Amedeo Lauria's picture

I did not speak in support of the ordinance as submitted...

what I said, and may still happen, is that it should be rewritten and put in front of the voters of Sabattus to state that the town will pass no ordinances infringing of the rights of the citizens of Sabattus to bear arms.

When it was stated by a member of the board "but that protection is already in the Constitution, why should we pass this?" I responded that many cities and towns across America have ordinances and laws that infringe upon the rights of Americans in this area, however, most people don't have the financial ability to fight it in the EXPENSIVE court system.

At least David raised the issue for discussion, and voiced his opinion in the town square, which at one time in this country was a time honored tradition. Now it appears upon reading these comments, is looked upon with distain, a true shame we are at this point in our country. The ad hominem attacks on David are dispicable considering his decades of civil and military service to our citizens; but I guess that no longer counts as well.

It was a very civil discussion and I applaud the dignity and respect in which the citizens of our town, Town Manager and Selectmen handled there vote. That is why I enjoy calling Sabattus my home!

RONALD RIML's picture

Now there's a 'Strawman Argument'

What's this "ad hominem attacks on David are dispicable considering his decades of civil and military service to our citizens"

He is attacked despite his decades of service - for coming up with such an asinine idea. He should know better!! His decades of service endow him (nor you and I) with no magical inoculation against absurdity nor outrageousness.

- As a 'Liberal' I have often read and heard others rail against my political beliefs - then find others incredulous that I have even served in the military, much less retired from both the service and from law enforcement.

Is it a matter then, of who's ox is being gored?

Amedeo Lauria's picture

Ron you're right I do find it incredulous...just kidding.

I've served long enough to know that folks all along the political spectrum serve and have served in the military and other areas that might be considered bastion of the right by some folks.

I enjoy the give and take here, and enjoy when the issues are explored, rather than personal attacks and name calling.

I enjoying hearing your take on things...and sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't, but I do respect your service and feel it gives you and those who served a sometimes unique perspective.

Defend and Serve!

RONALD RIML's picture

Protecting Rights - Why stop at the 2nd Amendment??

Resubmit the petition phrasing: "The Town shall pass no ordinances infringing upon the Constitutional rights of the Citizens of Sabattus"

Then no 'Special Rights' are accorded to any special interest group.

RONALD RIML's picture

So you want the Taxpayers of Sabattus to fight your Battles...

If they ever arise in court.

Isn't that what your NRA Dues are for, Colonel???

RONALD RIML's picture

Like a Military Installation........

Amedeo Lauria voiced support. "Look what’s going on around the country right now," he said. "There are places you cannot own a gun."

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Lost in Space

He must live in a vacuum....it must be embarrassing to have a guy like that with that kind of intellectual support..LOL

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Common Sense and wisdom

I commend the Selectman for having common sense and recognizing the paranoid disorder in Marsters illogical reasoning. Sounds like he is paranoid that the 2nd amendment will be abolished. His failure in not knowing the process is astounding.

The first method is for a bill to pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the states. This is the route taken by all current amendments. Because of some long outstanding amendments, such as the 27th, Congress will normally put a time limit (typically seven years) for the bill to be approved as an amendment.

The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States, and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in political science circles about just how such a convention would be convened, and what kind of changes it would bring about.

Regardless of which of the two proposal routes is taken, the amendment must be ratified, or approved, by three-fourths of states. There are two ways to do this, too. The text of the amendment may specify whether the bill must be passed by the state legislatures or by a state convention.

In a nutshell: He is paranoid, delusional and highly misinformed.

David Marsters's picture

Common sense

Take care of business in MN.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Over 150 years of being a Mainiac

BTW Pilgrim, we have more than 3 years of your homesteading in that great State of Maine. My many years of taxes that I still pay there, supersede your short contributions. You trying to intimidate me to move too, good luck....

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

By Business

While I have family in that town mister I care for them and not your concerns, but you have a nice life now...this is the USA and we have those rights to care for all and not about your short comings or political mantra.

RONALD RIML's picture

In a nutshell: He is paranoid, delusional and highly misinformed

- And he owns guns.........!!!????

Advertisement

Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...