Dear Maine State Legislators and Governor Mills,
We, the undersigned clergy and faith leaders of Maine, urge you to support LD 1312, “An Act Regarding Access to Firearms by Extremely Dangerous and Suicidal Individuals.” This life-saving legislation protects people’s rights while giving loved ones and law enforcement the tool they need (an Extreme Risk Protection Order) to temporarily remove firearms from dangerous situations that have the potential to result in mass shooting, domestic gun violence, suicide-by-firearm, and other senseless gun deaths and injuries.
“Red flag” laws have passed in 18 states, have been upheld in courts, and have earned the support of Republican, Democratic and Independent lawmakers because they make sense and save lives. Evidence-based studies show the use of ERPOs to be an effective intervention that can and does prevent tragedies.
As people of faith, we are united in the belief that every person is a beloved child of God with inherent worth and infinite value. We take seriously the biblical mandate to love our neighbors and to respond with compassion to human suffering. Maine’s clergy and faith leaders respond to domestic gun violence and firearm suicides in their congregations with horrifying regularity. For us, reducing gun violence is personal and it is a profoundly spiritual concern. To do nothing to intervene and prevent the suffering caused by mass shootings, domestic gun violence and firearm suicides would betray our closest held values and beliefs.
In asking you to support LD 1312, we stand with those whose lives could be saved if guns were temporarily removed from dangerous situations; we stand with their families, friends and faith communities; and we stand with the 81% of Mainers (94% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans) who support passage of “red flag” legislation.
Please do the right thing—the moral thing—and support LD 1312.
1. Rev. Jane Field, Presbyterian Church USA, Portland2. Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill, United Methodist, Portland3. Leslie Manning, New England Yearly Meeting, Religious Society of Friends, Bath4. Rev. Cindy Maddox, United Church of Christ, South Portland5. Rev. Barbara Kszystyniak, United Methodist, Wells6. Rev Dieter T. Hessel Ph.D, Presbyterian Church USA, Cape Elizabeth7. Pastor Mimi Magee, United Methodist, Kennebunk8. Chaplain Claire Curole, Unitarian Universalist, Augusta9. Rev. Priscilla Dreyman, United Methodist, South Portland10. Rev. Nancee Campbell, Unitarian Universalist, Augusta11. Rev. Carolyn Lambert, United Church of Christ, Kennebunk12. Rev. Samuel M. Johnson, United Methodist, Wells13. Rev. Charlotte Hendee, United Methodist, Wells14. Rev. Deborah Shipp, United Methodist, Wells15. Diane Dicranian, Clerk, Quaker, Bath16. Rev. Sara Ewing-Merrill, United Methodist, Portland17. Pastor Norm Boulay, United Methodist, Kennebunk18. Rev. AbbyLynn Haskell, United Church of Christ, Wells19. Rev. Patricia Dubois, United Church of Christ, Alfred20. Rev. Michael B. Davis, United Methodist, Wells21. Rev. Mark Monson Alley, United Methodist, Wells22. Sister Mary Morey, RSM, Roman Catholic, Sisters of Mercy, Portland23. Rita Moran, Pagan, Winthrop24. Rev. Marvin M. Ellison, Ph.D., Presbyterian Church USA, Portland25. Peter Wohl, Senior Priest, Soto Zen Buddhist, Unity26. Rev. Lori Whittemore, Interfaith, Saco27. The Rev. Dr. Nina R. Pooley, The Episcopal Church, Yarmouth28. Rabbi Joshua Chasan, Judaism, Portland29. Rev. Sally P. Poland, United Methodist, Portland30. Rev. Ted Poland, United Methodist, Portland31. The Very Rev. Benjamin Shambaugh, Episcopal, Portland32. Rev. Amanda Gerken-Nelson, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Portland33. Elizabeth Sprague, Quaker, East Machias34. Bishop S. Clifton Ives, Retired, United Methodist, Portland35. Rev. Maureen Ausbrook, Interfaith, Waterville36. Rev. Ed Bove, United Methodist, Dayton37. Rabbi Erica Asch, Jewish, Hallowell38. Rev. Frank Morin, Roman Catholic, Waterville39. Rev. Mark D. Wilson, United Church of Christ, Waterville40. The Rev Dr. Gwendolynn Purushotham, United Methodist, Wells41. The Rev. Robert A. Moore, United Methodist, Wells42. Rev. Walter Woitasek, United Church of Christ, Portland43. Rev. Christina Sillari, Unitarian Universalist, Portland44. Rev. Mary Lee Wile, Episcopal, Brunswick45. Pastor Richard Dorian, United Methodist, Wilton46. Rev. Jonathan Wright-Gray, American Baptist, Old Orchard Beach47. Rev. Lorna Grenfell, Church of Universal Fellowship, Orono48. Susannah Ristine, Order of Interbeing/Plum Village Tradition, South Portland49. Rabbi Darah R. Lerner, Jewish, Bangor50. Rabbi Lisa Vinikoor, Jewish, Bath51. Rev. Sharon Sagat-Stover, United Methodist, North Anson52. Rev. Meg Hegemann, United Methodist, Fort Fairfield53. Rev. Ruth Merriam, United Methodist, Brunswick54. Rev. Diane E. L. Wendorf, United Church of Christ, Sanford55. Carol Joan Gosselin, Interfaith, Bridgton56. The Rev. Shantia Wright-Gray, United Church of Christ, Old Orchard Beach57. Rev. Jeffrey Huot, Interfaith, Westbrook58. Karen McLean Hessel, M.Div., Presbyterian Church USA, Cape Elizabeth59. Rev. Lee Ann Betz, United Church of Christ, Lincoln60. Pastor Marilyn Noble, United Methodist, Portland61. Martha Soule, Chân Quang Do, True Land of Light, Buddhist, Plum Village Tradition, Readfield62. Peggy Smith, ordained Dharma teacher, Plum Village Lineage, Lincolnville63. Rev. Airin C. Wolf, Unity Church, Standish64. Rev. James Fletcher, United Church of Christ, Portland65. Rev. Donald J. Rudalevige, United Methodist, Cape Elizabeth66. John Hennessy, Director - Maine Episcopal Network for Justice, Episcopal, Portland67. Rev. Tamara Torres McGovern, United Church of Christ, Portland68. Lynn Deeves, Buddhist, Richmond69. The Rev. Dr. Mark W. Wendorf, United Church of Christ, Sanford70. The Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, Episcopal Diocese of Maine, Portland71. Rabbi Jared H. Saks, Reform Judaism, Portland