AUGUSTA — A bill that would have allowed Maine forest rangers to carry firearms has stalled.
The bill was sponsored by Republican state Rep. Larry Dunphy of Embden and Democratic Rep. Catherine Nadeau of Winslow.
Many rangers themselves backed the measure, but the state agency they work for is opposed.
The Kennebec Journal (http://bit.ly/11AP3ch ) reports that nearly 20 rangers testified in favor of the bill before the Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee last month. They say they need to be able to protect themselves while patrolling remote areas and confronting possible law breakers.
But Doug Denico, director of the forestry division at the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, said rangers are rarely in confrontational situations and allowing them to carry guns could "alienate the constituency."