Lewiston, Maine mass shootings

Maine mass shooting reignites scrutiny of gun laws, mental health treatment

Maine's current laws require several steps before a gun can be taken away from someone with mental health issues, a process that can be cumbersome

NBC Universal, Inc.

Memorials have been popping up outside the bowling alley and the bar and grille in Lewiston, Maine, when a gunman opened fire, killing 18 people and injuring more than a dozen others.

“It’s just heartbreaking,” said Darcey Nundy. “We wanted to come and pay our respects to the loved ones that have been lost.”



Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.


Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

Now that investigators for the most part have left the scenes, the community can get closer to leave tributes to the people who were killed.

Thousands of people attended a vigil in honor of the 18 people killed and 13 wounded in the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine earlier this week.

“I’m totally torn,” said Heather Webster. “Sad about the families of the victims and the tragedy that this is going to lay here forever. It’s never going to be the same.”

As the state grieves, Maine’s so-called “yellow flag” gun laws are now coming under scrutiny. The laws require several steps before a gun can be taken away from someone with mental health issues, a process that can be cumbersome. In this case, authorities have said they have not uncovered any reports that the suspect was ever forcibly committed for mental health treatment, which means it wouldn't have been flagged on a background check.

“We can’t continue to live like this,” said Kathleen McFadden from the Maine chapter of Moms Demand Action, an organization trying to beef up gun laws in order to prevent gun violence. “We can’t let our friends, families, neighbors, die like this.”

Grieving community members gathered Saturday night in Lisbon, Maine, for a candlelit vigil -- some leaving their homes for the first time in days.

Meantime, the investigation into the shooting rampage is well underway. The Associated Press reports that law enforcement was warned weeks ago about the shooter making quote “veiled threats” as his mental health deteriorated.

Two local officials told the AP that a statewide alert was sent in mid-September regarding Robert Card after the Army Reservist made threats against his base and fellow soldiers. Patrols of the base and his home were stepped up but there was no sign of him.

“I wish that everybody could get the kind of mental health support they need in this country,” said Joan Barker. “ I also think this country needs to have the reckoning it needs to have with guns.”

Contact Us