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In wake of mass shooting, Maine senators eschew assault weapons ban in favor of magazine limits

"High capacity magazines. That’s what enables a shooter in a case like this to just keep on shooting," King said.

Published: October 27, 2023 4:11pm

Both of Maine's incumbent senators have eschewed an assault weapons ban following a recent mass shooting in the state, instead favoring more modest reforms focused on limiting the functionality of lethal weapons.

Earlier this week, a gunman opened fire at multiple locations in Lewiston, Maine, killing 18 and injuring 13 others. Authorities are searching for person-of-interest Robert Card, who remains at large as of press time.

The violent episode has prompted renewed calls for an assault weapons ban, which has attracted support from even long-time opponents in the state, such as Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine. But Sens. Susan Collins, R, and Angus King, I, have poured cold water on that idea, opting instead for smaller gun control reforms aimed at limiting functionality.

"We had an assault weapon ban, which I supported, that was in effect for 10 years. It applied to, I believe, 17 or 19 styles of weapons," Collins told reporters on Thursday. 

"Later, the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein proposed an expansion that would have covered 157 weapons. And it was based not on functionality, but on cosmetic features," she continued. "I think it is more important that we ban very high capacity magazines. I think that would have more input and more effectiveness."

King echoed Collins's point on magazine capacity, saying on Wednesday that "I want to do what’ll work and to me, the most clear danger are these high capacity magazines," according to WNCT. "High capacity magazines. That’s what enables a shooter in a case like this to just keep on shooting."

Magazine capacity limits have long been rallying cry for gun control advocates, though such proposals have struggled to clear judicial scrutiny. Last month, for example, a federal court struck down California's limits, which prohibited magazines holding ten or more rounds.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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