WEST PARIS — Residents voted 30-21 in favor of a resolution that states the town’s support of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms and their objection to any law or executive action infringe upon that right.
Discussion on the the resolution lasted about 20 minutes.
“All this is saying is that we support our second amendment right,” one resident said. “It’s not going to change anything related gun ownership.”
Not all residents saw it the same way, though, with one saying she did not believe that anyone “is trying to take people’s guns away” and that “responsible gun owners do not need a resolution like this.”
“I do not believe the government we have today cares about people’s constitutional rights,” resident Danny Abbott said. “We have an administration right now that is trying to come after our guns.”
Abbott added that since Maine became a Constitutional carry state in 2015 it has been one of the safest states in the country.
“People can see what is coming down the pipeline. That’s why these movements are happening across the country,” resident Robert Carey said. Carey proposed the idea of developing a resolution to town officials last month.
“The biggest reason for the second amendment is to protect us from the tyranny of government,” another resident added.
Resident Scott Thurston said adopting the resolution it is putting a label on the entire town despite not everyone being in favor of it.
“I don’t want to live in a community that has labels or divisive things,” Thurston said.
Another resident followed up Thurston’s statement by suggesting that people who are in favor or the resolution should write a letter to the editor showing their support instead of involving the entire town.
The article pertaining to the second amendment was the only one that generated any discussion at Saturday’s meeting. The citizens unanimously voted to sell a parcel of town land to resident Hunter Rowell for $1. The land had been town property for years but the septic system to Rowell’s house was on it.
Residents also overwhelmingly voted in favor of adopting an accident fee recovery ordinance and a food sovereignty ordinance. The recovery ordinance passed 37-8 and the food ordinance 47-2.
Both the ordinances and resolution were effective immediately after adoption.
More information on the ordinances and resolution can be obtained at the West Paris town office.
Woodstock Town Manager Vern Maxfield moderated the meeting.