SEN Valentino, REP Priest, Members of the Judiciary Committee:
I'm Jeff Weinstein from Yarmouth. By way of introduction to those who don't know me, I'm President of the Maine Gun Owners Association, and am a former President of the Falmouth Rod & Gun Club and the Pine Tree State Rifle & Pistol Association. I'm also an NRA Certified Training Counselor and Firearms Instructor, as well as an NRA Certified International Class Rifle Coach Emeritus; however, I want to make it clear that I do not speak for the NRA on this issue, and nothing I say today should imply NRA endorsement of my remarks. I speak solely as President of the Maine Gun Owners Association and as a concerned Maine citizen.
I wholeheartedly endorse and support the provisions of LD-345. This legislation will permanently help protect the privacy of thousands of law-abiding Maine citizens who have gone through the extensive process to qualify for a Concealed Firearms Permit (CFP). The sole purpose one has in applying for a CFP is to become qualified as a trusted citizen who has State permission to carry a firearm in an unobtrusive manner for personal protection of himself or herself, as well as members of one's family. A CFP holder may also be helpful in playing a defensive or protective role for members of the public-at-large in certain situations.
Without the protective provisions of this legislation, some individuals and/or organizations may readily obtain personal information about CFP holders. As we all know, and has already been demonstrated, not everyone can be trusted with that very personal information, especially when it's tied in with firearms ownership. It's not difficult to imagine the dozens of ways such information may be seriously abused, even endangering families of CFP holders, either from criminal assault or by political or social harassment. The State must not become an enabler for such potentially destructive actions upon law-abiding citizens whose only desire is to protect themselves and their families, and who have entrusted the State to avoid endangering them.
It's crucial that LD-345 be enacted forthwith.
Jeff Weinstein, President
Maine Gun Owners Association Inc