AUGUSTA – Republican state representatives and state senators from York County on Tuesday sent an open letter of support to Kittery Trading Post president Kevin Adams in response to Democratic lawmakers’ threats to boycott and protest the beloved sporting goods store.
“As we celebrate Independence Day this year, we cherish especially our constitutional right to bear arms, which is under attack across our great nation,” said Rep. Heidi Sampson (R-Alfred). “These Democratic lawmakers are threatening and harassing an iconic Maine business to push a radical national gun control agenda that Mainers don’t want and don’t need.”
Earlier this week, Democratic Representatives Dean Rykerson, Patricia Hymanson, and Lydia Blume sent a letter to the management at the Kittery Trading Post demanding they cease selling what they call “assault-style rifles” and voluntarily raise the purchasing age for firearms to 21 at the store. They even threatened the store with a boycott and protests if the 80 year old, family-owned Maine business did not comply with their demands.
Gun control activists’ call for a ban on “assault-style rifles” comes without any definition of which rifles meet their description and appears to be based on appearance alone. The vast majority of rifles in the United States, whether used for hunting or home defense, are semi-automatic with very similar firing mechanisms. The call to increase the purchase age for firearms to 21 comes without any proof of a problem to be solved or a benefit to be had.
“Kittery Trading Post has been a valued member of the southern Maine community for 80 years now,” said Sen. Ron Collins (R-York). “I hope they recognize that the sentiments shared by only three of my colleagues are NOT shared by the vast majority. Regardless of their threats, we are ready to defend Maine’s heritage and our valued homegrown businesses such as Kittery Trading Post.”
“We speak for the vast majority of Mainers who reject the bullying tactics being employed by left wing extremists across America to force businesses to conform to their point of view,” added Sampson. “We are proud of Kittery Trading Post for standing firm against this unprecedented assault on Maine’s sporting traditions and commonsense values of self-reliance and self-defense.”