A trio of Democratic lawmakers in Maine are pressuring one of the largest gun stores in the state to stop selling “assault-style” rifles.
Reps Pressure Kittery Trading Post
NH1 reports that Reps. Deane Rykerson, D-Kittery; Lydia Blume, D-York; and Patty Hymanson, D-York, have penned a letter to Kittery Trading Post—in operation since 1938—demanding that the store put an end to the sale of AR-15 rifles on its premises. The letter was also signed by New Hampshire Reps. Peter Somssich, Tamara Le, Gerry Ward, Laura Pantelakos, Becky McBeath, Jacqueline Cali-Pitts, Pamela Gordon and Martha Fuller Clark
“Your store to us has been a symbol of a good business that is involved in the community and the area in which it does business,” the letter reads.
The legislators went on to mention the Parkland school shooting as one of the primary reasons for the demand.
“When the issues surrounding gun violence in the aftermath of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida erupted, and students were asking for action so they could feel safe, we naturally assumed that a business such as the Kittery Trading Post (KTP) would respond and take meaningful action,” the letter states.
In addition, the group mentioned Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart. Those two major retailers said they would stop selling “assault” rifles and “high-capacity” magazines, as well as raise the age for gun buys to 21, in the wake of Parkland.
The letter says that, after Dick’s and Walmart, the legislators “were sure that the KTP would likewise match such options.”
The lawmakers end the letter by asking Kittery Trading Post to “respond to the outpouring of community support for common-sense actions against gun violence in our communities and our country.”
Calls For Boycotts And Picketing
As SeaCoastOnline reports, thousands of signatures were collected in March calling for Kittery Trading Post to take similar action to Dick’s and Walmart. A counter-petition also picked up thousands of signatures.
At a town hall meeting in Kittery on Monday, Rykerson said Kittery Trading Post was “a great community resource … so why do they have to sell weapons of war?”
Michele Meyer, a state representative candidate for Maine’s District 2, called for a boycott of Kittery Trading Post “until they start entertaining our wishes.” She says it’s not a “Second Amendment issue,” but a “public health issue.”
“I think our community needs to know what their stance is in an open way,” said Hymanson. She also said Kittery Trading Post should put out a statement disclosing their stance on “gun safety and sales,” SeaCoastOnline reported.
Le, who represents District 31 in New Hampshire, said, “We need to have a talk with [Kittery Trading Post], because they do not have our best interests at heart.”
The state reps also told the public to fill out customer comment cards at Kittery Trading Posts. This, they say, will pressure the store to take action. Some at the town hall meeting discussed possibly picketing the store. Others want a more organized movement. This would involve pamphlets, bumper stickers and picketing in high-profile areas.