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Maine would become 27th state to ban paramilitary training under bill passed by House

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine would become the 27th state to ban paramilitary training, under a bill the House narrowly passed Wednesday.

The proposal, designed to block groups hoping to create civil unrest, passed 66-60. It was sponsored by Democratic Rep. Laurie Osher of Orono.

The measure comes in the wake of a rise in public demonstrations by white nationalist groups in the state. Supporters, including Osher, have said it would prevent groups from organizing for the purpose of terrorizing marginalized groups.

Republicans in the state and some gun rights advocates have spoken out against the proposal. Some argued during a public hearing that it violates the 2nd Amendment and would prevent groups from learning self-defense.

The proposal still needs the backing of the Maine Senate. If it passes, Maine would become the 27th state to have such a measure, according to Jacob Glick, policy counsel with the Georgetown Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection.

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