Monday, March 11, 2013

Maine Town to Take Symbolic Vote on Mandatory Gun Ownership

By Sarah Mahoney

DURHAM, Maine (Reuters) - Residents of a Maine town are expected to vote on Monday on whether each household should be required to own a firearm, a decision that has thrust the tiny town of Byron into the heated national debate on gun control.

The vote is scheduled to take place on Monday evening in a potentially rancorous annual town meeting for the rural western Maine town's 140 residents, and will be largely symbolic.

The town's head selectman says the vast majority of households in Byron already have at least one gun, and a requirement to possess guns and ammunition would be unenforceable because Maine law bars municipalities from legislating on firearms.

"It was never my intention to force anyone to own a gun who doesn't want to. My purpose was to make a statement in support of the Second Amendment (to the U.S. Constitution)," said head selectman Anne Simmons-Edmund, who proposed the ordinance and said it would be put for a vote on Monday.

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