Maine’s Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Sentry Initiatives
In 2001, the Department of Justice launched Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an initiative focused on bringing together federal, state and local agencies and community organizations to reduce gun violence and illegal gun possession.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine created a PSN Task Force (PSN Maine) with representatives from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, domestic violence coalitions, sportsmanship alliances, state agencies, and educational and business leaders. PSN Maine
combines an aggressive enforcement strategy, particularly in the area of domestic violence, with an extensive community outreach campaign aimed at educating Maine citizens about federal gun laws. The goal of PSN Maine is to hold those who violate gun laws accountable and prevent future gun crime by informing the public of the consequences of violating these laws.
PSN Maine supports two violent crime task forces, the Central Maine Violent Crime Task Force in Lewiston (formed in 1995) and the Eastern Maine Violent Crime Task Force in Bangor (formed in 1997) which include federal, state and local law enforcement representatives. Since the creation of these task forces, the number of federal firearms prosecutions has dramatically increased, including an increase in the number of juvenile prosecutions. PSN Maine’s enforcement strategy has a special emphasis on domestic abusers who illegally possess guns. The District of Maine continues to be among those districts leading the country in the number of prosecutions of federal firearm laws related to domestic violence, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) and (g)(9). Through a network of contacts in each of Maine’s district attorney offices and most state and local law enforcement agencies, the enforcement of gun violence and illegal gun possession is a coordinated, statewide effort.
PSN Maine’s emphasis on domestic violence is also evidenced in a variety of outreach efforts. Working with the Maine Judicial Domestic Violence Advisory Committee, the U.S. Attorney’s Office participated in changing the language on the state Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) form to ensure that it satisfies the requirements of federal firearm statutes. Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office worked with its research partner to examine the relationship between guns and domestic violence and released a brief entitled “Domestic Violence & Firearms,” which revealed that the threatened use of a firearm far exceeds the number of violent crimes committed with a gun in Maine each year. PSN Maine also introduced a popular Gun Sellers Awareness Campaign aimed at educating Maine gun sellers on the risks and consequences involved in selling guns to individuals who may be prohibited from possessing them, instead of directly to a federally licensed gun dealer. You may request a Gun Seller’s Safety Kit by contacting PSN Maine at (207) 771-3294 (Southern Maine) or (207) 262-4694 (Northern Maine) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, PSN Maine launched a media campaign consisting of radio and print ads aimed at domestic abusers. PSN Maine also developed a series of public service announcements (PSAs) focused on bystanders of domestic violence. These PSAs can be viewed by visiting the website of a PSN partner agency, the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence.
PSN Maine and Project Sentry focus on:
Communicating the law: It is illegal for convicted felons and people with misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence to possess firearms.
Promoting gun safety: With a large population of hunters, it is imperative gun owners respect their firearms.
Preventing School Gun Violence: Bullying, weapons in school and teen dating violence are all issues of concern that can lead to school gun violence.
Gun Seller's Safety Kit
You may request a Gun Seller’s Safety Kit by contacting PSN Maine at (207) 771-3294 (Southern Maine) or (207) 262-4694 (Northern Maine) or email@example.com.
FFLs may add, update or remove their contact info from the above listing by sending an E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summaries of Federal Domestic Violence Laws and Federal Firearms Laws
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Members of the PSN Maine Task Force:
- Bangor Police Department
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
- CD&M Communications
- Cumberland County Sheriff's Office
- Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- L.L. Bean
- Lewiston Police Department
- Maine Attorney General's Office
- Maine Chiefs of Police Association
- Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence
- Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
- Maine Council of Churches
- Maine Department of Corrections
- Maine Department of Public Safety
- Maine Domestic Violence Investigators
- Maine Merchants Association
- Maine Prosecutors Association
- Maine Sheriffs' Association
- Maine Warden Service
- Portland Police Department
- Sportsman's Alliance of Maine
- Violence Intervention Partnership
- Volunteers of America - Northern New England