A few days ago Maine Moms Demand Action, a group funded by anti-gun billionaire and former mayor Michael Bloomberg, announced that it has collected enough signatures to attempt to bring New York style gun control to Maine this November through a citizen-initiated referendum. Mr. Bloomberg has been open about his plan to dump $50 million into 15 states, including Maine, to push his gun control agenda on the American people.
Please ask yourself why the former mayor of one of America’s most violent cities has chosen Maine, the second safest state in the country, as the next battleground for his extreme gun control propaganda. The answer is simple, he has failed on the federal level and is now targeting the low hanging fruit, states that can be won through a citizen initiative process for relatively small sums of money (to him), to demonstrate support for his failed agenda.
Misconceptions are rampant from the very start when it comes to this referendum. For example, it is already portrayed as “universal background checks” for all gun sales. What people are failing to talk about is the fact that this referendum goes far beyond gun sales. It would also apply to all TRANSFERS of a firearm and would be required for every sale, purchase, trade, gift, rental and loan of a firearm between any and all individuals with only a few exceptions.
It is already a federal felony to earn your livelihood from gun sales without first obtaining a federal firearm dealer’s license (FFL). All FFLs are required to run background checks on each and every sale that they conduct, whether that be at a gun show, online or through a storefront. It is also already a federal felony that carries significant penalties to knowingly sell, trade, give or lend a firearm to a prohibited person.
In 2010, 72,000 people were turned down on a gun purchase for failing a background check. Of that 72,000 people, only 44 were prosecuted. In addition to not prosecuting criminals who attempt to obtain firearms, not all states participate in the National Instant Background Check program (NICS) and others regularly fail to send records of arrests and mental illness to the system at all, meaning that prohibited people regularly pass the background check system with no problems.
In 2013, Vice President Joe Biden said to NRA’s Director of Federal Affairs, Jim Baker, “And to your point, Mr. Baker, regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, we simply don’t have the time or the manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.”
The feds know that the system is not effective and that we are not prosecuting criminals who lie on a form or attempt to obtain a firearm, yet Mr. Bloomberg would like to subject all legal gun owners to an undisclosed fee set by FFL dealers to purchase or transfer a firearm. It is a fact that only legal gun owners will be taxed as a result of this measure. Criminals will not be paying for background checks because, by definition, they do not follow laws.
The current National Instant Background Check system is severely flawed and merely provides a false sense of security. Just a quick search of some of the most heinous, violent offenders in our rent history paints a clear picture of this:
Sandy Hook – Stolen
Aurora – Passed background check
Arizona (Gifford) – Passed background check
Fort Hood – Passed background check
Navy Yard – Passed background check
Virginia Tech – Passed background check
Virginia reporter – Passed background check
A 2013 National Institute of Justice Memo states that universal background checks are only effective with a full gun registration scheme. This referendum is an attempt to chip away at our right, as American citizens, to keep and bear arms. It is an additional undetermined tax on legal gun ownership. It is both ineffective and unenforceable. And one thing is for certain, no matter how you feel about gun ownership, Mr. Bloomberg will be dumping funds to fuel his propaganda in Maine over the next few months at unprecedented levels, levels that can’t be matched from the other side.