Gavin Newsom slams Maine Republicans over gun control after mass shooting

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom slammed Maine Republicans on social media for rejecting a gun control bill that would have required a 72-hour waiting period for firearm purchases earlier this year after a gunman opened fire and killed at least 18 people in Lewiston Wednesday night.

Newsom pointed the finger at Republicans, but Democrats have control of both Maine’s House and Senate. The June legislation’s rejection was bipartisan, failing in the House 73-69 with 65 Republicans and seven Democrats voting against and in the Senate 24-11 with all 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats voting against.

Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills had remained largely silent on the proposal. At a press conference Thursday, Mills condemned the shootings without mentioning gun control.

“They seriously could not fathom waiting 72 hours to buy a gun,” Newsom wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, in a post that also criticized Maine’s lack of laws to ban assault weapons, require permits to carry a gun in public or require background checks on all gun sales.

The California governor also repeated his calls for further gun control action from Congress. He has been vocal about calling out Republicans for not passing gun safety legislation, particularly after two mass shootings in his state left 19 people dead earlier this year.

On Wednesday night, a man shot and killed at least 18 people and injured at least 13 at a restaurant and a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine, and then fled the scene. Law enforcement continued to search for the suspect, identified as Robert Card, on Thursday.

Card was described as a firearms instructor believed to be in the Army Reserve and assigned to a training facility in Saco, Maine, according to the Associated Press.

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