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Selected Editorials from the Editor

Suns & Shields Christian Inspirational Writings by Rachelle Hamlin

Selected editorials from Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


The Roberts Trap is Sprung

By:  Bill Dunne
One of the most overlooked aspects of the year just ended is the vindication of Chief Justice John Roberts -- a vindication that showed up as the national catastrophe known as ObamaCare got rolling.  Roberts may have also doomed Hillary Clinton's chance to live in the White House again... click here to read whole editorial


Waters Being Muddied on Maine CCW Permit Repeal


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, June 24, 2015


AUGUSTA, Maine—Leave it to politicians to take something simple and make it complicated.  That’s just what the Maine legislature is doing with regard to their current effort to repeal the permitting requirement for concealed handguns.

   The Maine Constitution is crystal clear on the subject of firearm ownership and possession.  It simply states at Article 1, Section 16—Maine’s “Bill of Rights”—“Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.”

   The effort by Maine Republicans to repeal the permit requirement is long overdue since the permit system from its inception was in direct violation of the Maine Constitution.  However, Republicans are allowing themselves to become sidetracked by anti-self defense Democrats who want nothing more than to keep Maine inhabitants in a perpetual state of subjugation to, and dependency on, government for their safety and sustenance.

   A recent amendment to L.D. 652—the bill that would repeal the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed weapon—has watered down the original spirit and intent of the abolition of the unconstitutional permit system. 

    Sponsored by Representative Lori Fowle (D-Vassalboro), the amendment proposes a requirement that anyone carrying a concealed weapon who comes into contact with a law enforcement officer, must immediately notify that officer that they are carrying a concealed weapon.   The amendment states that when an individual carrying a concealed handgun...first comes into contact with any law enforcement officer of this State or its political subdivisions or a federal law enforcement officer during the course of any arrest, detainment, or routine traffic stop, that individual shall immediately inform that law enforcement officer of the fact that the individual is carrying a concealed handgun.”

   Failure to notify the officer would result in a civil violation and a fine of up to $100.

   Senator  Eric Brakey (R-Auburn), adjusted the requirement in the Senate by only requiring those without a permit to give the information.

   “This was an amendment added to the bill by a Democrat in the House,” Senator Brakey told the Fort Fairfield Journal.  “I am not a big fan of the amendment, but it was added all the same. We further amended it in the Senate to clarify that this only applies to individuals carrying without a permit.”

   While the amendment is frivolous and obviously antagonistic to the rights of a free people, Brakey feels to fight it at this point in time may be premature.  “We are too far along. If we tried to take off the amendment, we would have risked the entire bill dying in nonconcurrence between the chambers. Instead, we can try to change this piece of the law with separate legislation in the future.”

   Representative Fowle seems to think this requirement would somehow make police officers safer, but like most anti-self defense Democrats she fails to understand only good, law-abiding people obey gun laws while bad people—the ones the police do have to be concerned about—habitually disobey and disregard them.

   In addition to violating Article 1, Sec. 16 of the Maine Constitution, the notification amendment also violates the spirit of Article 1, Sec. 5 which states, “The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions from all unreasonable searches and seizures; and no warrant to search any place, or seize any person or thing, shall issue without a special designation of the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized, nor without probable cause -- supported by oath or affirmation.”

   The Fowle/Brakey amendment preemptively violates the rights of Maine inhabitants who are carrying a concealed weapon, but are otherwise doing nothing illegal with it, by forcing them to volunteer that information to a police officer under threat of a $100 fine for non-compliance.

   “Lets see now, this is legislation based on revenue from fines on Mainers that break the law. In this case a ‘coat’ tax. Does anyone see how far off the edge we have gone?" said Jack McCarthy, host of Aroostook Watchman on WXME, AM780 in Monticello. “Legislation designed to create revenue through fines for noncompliance. With that criteria we should have no problem filling the state coffers; fines for hate speech, or hate thought and do it preemptively to save time on paperwork and that silly due process.”

   Phil Merletti, spokesperson for Take America Back, has pointed out some Constitutional issues with the amendment.  “The [Fowle/Brakey] amendment violates the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the 5th section of Article I as written in the Maine Constitution,” Merletti wrote in letters to Maine’s County Sheriffs.  “The aforementioned Constitutional sections were incorporated into both Constitutions to prevent tyranny from oppressive governments and their law enforcement agents, This last minute amendment was not naively added by accident as both parties of the legislature were previously notified of their potential violation if willfully passed. But, they knowingly and willingly ignored this information. Law enforcers that were working with these legislators were adamant and they knowingly and willfully ignored the potential violation of the two Constitutions.”

   “It will be interesting to see if the Sheriffs will stand ‘with and for’ the two Constitutions as they are Constitutional Law Officers, while the State & Local Police who gave an Oath to support the Constitution are only given their authority under statute.”

   Another hurdle the bill has to navigate is what the legislature considers the “cost” to implement it.  While there is no additional expense to the Maine budget, the legislature considers the loss of an estimated $200,000 per year in permit fee collections as a “cost” and will see if they can absorb it in the next budget.

   McCarthy says using that flawed “cost” model, the State could end up arbitrarily applying it to other permitting and licensing fees that only generate a one-time charge, such as marriage licenses and a creative legislature would find the sky is the limit on ideas for taxing and generating revenue.  “If, for example, marriage licenses expired every 5 years just think how much revenue that would raise.  A fine could also be assessed for people living together with an expired marriage license! Then, how about a small fee to allow procreation practice and a substantial fee for creating new carbon producing units called children.”

   The CCW permit repeal bill recently passed the House, 83-62 and the Senate, 21-14.  It is currently in the legislature’s Appropriations Committee where they are trying to figure out if next year’s budget will take the loss of revenue into effect.

   Brakey said he believes the current estimate of $200,000 is based on the inaccurate assumption that all those with permits will no longer apply for them in the future. “That’s what those numbers are based on, the idea that no one is going to get a permit.”

   He said other states who removed their permit requirements recently, such as Arizona and Wyoming, saw a negligible reduction in the number of permits issued.

   As of Monday, June 15, the Legislature’s Office of Program and Fiscal Review was revising the estimated loss in revenue downward based on new information. A lawmaker on the Appropriations Committee said he expects the final price tag on the measure will be $100,000 or less.  







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