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SCOTUS begins issuing new opinions, with another expected related to the power of federal agencies, the battleground state of Wisconsin gets a ruling on alternative voting sites, and coastal work is being done to help salt marshes withstand hurricanes.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Maine lawmakers, gun safety groups call for assault weapons ban

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Monday, October 30, 2023   

Advocates in Maine for stronger gun safety laws are calling for a complete ban on assault weapons following last week's mass shooting in Lewiston, which left eighteen people dead and more than a dozen injured.

Groups say they are determining their next steps to ensure leaders in Augusta and Washington, D.C. pass what they see as commonsense gun laws, including tougher background checks and annual license renewal.

Anna Kellar is executive director of the League of Women Voters of Maine.

"It's going to take that kind of courage from our political leaders," said Kellar, "but I think it's what their constituents are really looking for from them in a moment like this, is to do that soul searching and take a stand when they need to."

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins - R-Maine - says she would support a ban on assault weapons, although she and U.S. Sen. Angus King - I-Maine - believe a ban on high-capacity magazines would be more effective at preventing gun violence.

For Maine U.S. Rep. Jared Golden - D-Lewiston - the tragedy in his hometown has altered his opinion.

Golden said he previously opposed an assault weapons ban - but that it's now time, as he puts it, to "take responsibility for this failure" and change course.

"For the good of my community," said Golden, "I will work with any colleague to get this done in the time that I have left in Congress."

Attempts to enact an assault weapons ban have failed following other mass shootings, including those at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut or Parkland High School in Florida.

Still, some gun safety advocates say Golden's reversal is a place to start.




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