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Fake guns and BB guns on school grounds would be prohibited in Maine under a bill proposed by legislators.
The bill would make it a crime to have replica firearms on school property — from pellet guns to fake guns that don’t shoot anything, said AP. The bill is not aimed, however, at toy guns with bright orange markings.
Democratic Senator Dawn Hill, of York, the bill’s sponsor, says the measure is necessary to prevent potentially serious tragedies, said AP.
According to an AP report, she introduced the measure in response to an incident at a high school in Kittery last summer when a resource officer found a BB gun in a student’s car. The BB gun looked like a police-issued gun, but officers found they couldn’t take action against the student because Maine law doesn’t mention replica guns, said AP.
According to Fox News, the bill is receiving pushback from groups such as the Maine Civil Liberties Union, which said that creating a new crime that will primarily affect young people will cause students to be unnecessarily funneled from schools to jails. "People could face up to six months in jail for violating the proposed law, and people with criminal convictions often face employment discrimination, are barred from public housing and have less access to educational opportunities, said Oami Amarasingham, public policy council for the civil liberties group," reported Fox News.