With A Mountain Of Gun Control Legislation Looming Lawmakers Get Gun Tutorial 

Gun control legislation is likely to be the hot button topic in Augusta during this legislative session.Thursday at The Senator in Augusta, the Maine Sheriffs Association tried to make sure lawmakers can make informed decisions when it comes to legislating guns.Lawmakers in Augusta will have roughly 80 bills related to gun control to consider during this session. “That’s why I came today,” said freshman legislator Ryan Tipping-Spitz, an Orono Democrat. “I just want to know everything that’s out there before we start making decisions.”Firearms instructors from various state sheriffs departments put on a weapons training seminar, allowing lawmakers to learn about the firearms that could be affected by proposed legislation. “There’s no bias with this, there’ll be no suggestions,” said Kennebec County Sheriff Randal Liberty. “That will happen later on on the session when we have public hearings. Today is just informational.”Lawmakers learned the difference between automatic and semiautomatic weapons, different calibers of rifles, magazines that have 30 round capacities, and much more. “I saw a weapon I would have considered to be an assault rifle and I saw a hunting rifle that looked sort of benign and I learned that the two of them do exactly the same thing,” said Republican Senator Roger Katz from Augusta.The Maine sheriffs want lawmakers to realize that when it comes to stemming gun violence, there’s a lot they need to know. “There’s all kinds of pieces that we have to be educated on, because there’s no one single thing we’re going to be able to do and we don’t want to do things that just make you feel good and really don’t accomplish the end game,” said Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross. “We have also be very cognizant of constitutional rights and the freedoms that we have on our country.”The deadline for submitting gun legislation is Friday.