In November, Maine residents will have the opportunity to vote on Question 3, a proposition to regulate on gun purchases.
If passed, Question 3 would require unlicensed, private buyers and sellers to go to a federally licensed dealer (FFL), where both parties would have to go through the background check process. The only exceptions to this rule would be in cases of an emergency where self-defense is necessary, while hunting or performing sport shooting and transfers between family members.
Currently, Maine has no state law requiring background checks, but they do require background checks for all gun purchases made at a federally licensed dealer.
If passed, Maine would join eight other states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington – and the District of Columbia in requiring background checks on all gun purchases.
Maine Chiefs of Police Association came out in support of background checks last month, but they’re not the only law enforcement making a statement on the proposed legislation.
On Wednesday, 12 of the 16 Sheriffs in the state of Maine announced their opposition to the ballot measure.
We live in one of the safest states in the country and strongly believe no provisions in this legislation would reduce gun violence or crime in Maine. In fact, Question 3 is unenforceable, confusing, poorly written and threatens to make law-abiding gun owners into criminals for simply loaning a firearm to a friend. By and large, the people who commit crimes with firearms are not concerned with good citizenship, compliance with existing law and are repeat offenders. It’s the law-abiding citizens who comply with gun laws that are the most affected by arbitrary gun laws and will be most affected by Question 3.
Hancock County Sheriff Scott A. Kane posted the joint press release on his department’s Facebook page.
Stand strong, sheriffs.