The Maine House of Representatives on Monday voted 83-62 to approve a bill lifting the state’s permit requirement for carrying a concealed handgun.

The vote Monday is the culmination of a decades-long effort by gun-right advocates to remove restrictions on lawful gun owners and follows a 21-14 vote in the state Senate last week that also removed the permit requirement.

It is expected the bill, LD 652, sponsored by Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, will be signed into law by Gov. Paul LePage, making the state the sixth without any permit requirements for carrying a hidden firearm.

LePage has long said he supports the right of Maine citizens to possess firearms as the state’s Constitution, even more explicitly than the U.S. Constitution, protects gun ownership rights, stating, “Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.”

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