In a letter to the editor (BDN, June 15), Malcolm L. Norcross of Troy challenged my record in support of gun owners and questioned my work in this area in the Congress. In fact, I am a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights, and Mr. Norcross’ inaccurate depiction of my views deserves a response.
Mr. Norcross incorrectcly characterized my legislation — which would establish mandatory minimum sentences for criminals who use guns to committe drug trafficking or violent crimes — as an effort to extend the role of federal agencies in state investigations. In fact, my legislation will not change the role of federal agencies in state investigations whatsoever. The bill explicitly states that it does not supplant state and local efforts to prosecute violent criminals; likewise, the tough sentences my legislation sets forth cannot be applied unless a ITAL criminal UNITAL is ITAL convicted UNITAL of a violent crime. Only then could these increased sentences be considered by a prosecutor.
In addition, Mr. Norcross mistakenly asserted that I am a cosponsor of S.10., the Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Act. He is wrong; I have not cosponsored the legislation. In fact, my office informed the Senate Judiciary Committee of the serious concerns expressed by Mainers during the committee’s review of S.10 this spring. Recently, the committee issued a modified version of the legislation that addresses the concerns of gun owners about the impact the bill could have had on law-abiding firearms owners and dealers.
Thank you for this opportunity to correct the record. Olympia J. Snowe U.S. senator Washington, D.C.