Byron residents unanimously reject making gun ownership mandatory

9:30 PM, Mar 11, 2013   |    comments
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BYRON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Residents in the town of Byron have voted unanimously against a measure that would have made gun ownership mandatory.

Fifty people showed up for Monday night's town meeting to vote against the article.  Many people who spoke at the meeting said they were against government telling them what to do.

The vote comes less than a week after voters in Sabattus rejected a similar proposal.

The Oxford County town of Byron is home to 140 residents, but it has made recent headlines due to the mandatory gun ownership proposal.

The question that residents voted on read, "Shall the town of Byron vote to require all households to have firearms and ammunition to protect the citizens?"

Anne Simmons-Edmunds is on the select board and supported the article.  She said it was largely symbolic and its purpose was to make a statement in support of Second Amendment rights.  

Simmons-Edmunds said her intent was not to go door-to-door to make sure everyone had a gun, but rather the article presented a chance for the small town to come forward and take a stand in support of gun rights.

"Yes we're here to rock the boat, but we're here to rock it effectively and informatively, and power to the people.  If you like it, vote for it. If you don't, I'm okay with that too," Simmons-Edmunds said.

The Oxford County Sheriff's Office said it was opposed to the article because even if it was passed, it was illegal under state law.

Chief Deputy Hart Daley said the article was unenforceable.

"To enact an ordinance such as this and to have a town come together and vote on it I personally feel is a waste of resources and people's time," Chief Deputy Daley said Monday afternoon.

The town meeting took place Monday evening at the Coos Canyon Schoolhouse.


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