Commentary

Maine Doesn’t Need New York-Style Gun Control

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The proposal for Universal Background Checks on the November ballot seems simple, but it’s not. First of all, according to Constitutions of the United States and Maine, it is likely unconstitutional. 

Gun control is a very emotional issue, especially after unstable people use firearms to kill innocent Americans. The media and liberal politicians use these horrific tragedies to demand the government take firearms away from law-abiding citizens.

New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg is backing this anti-gun effort to require background checks on the private transfers or sale of all firearms.

Article I, Section 16 of the State of Maine Constitution clearly states: “Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.” The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

Still, a liberal gun-grabber group called Moms Demand Action is pushing for this law. But it’s really Bloomberg and other out-of-state liberals who are trying to buy this gun ban in Maine.

Making Mainers pay for background checks on private sales or transfers will make it more difficult and expensive to buy, sell and borrow firearms.

Bloomberg’s proposal would make it illegal to sell a firearm to a friend or loan a rifle to a neighbor to go hunting. To comply with this law, you and your friend would have to go to a licensed dealer during business hours, fill out federal paperwork, undergo an FBI background check and pay a fee before you could let them borrow your firearm. Then you have to go through the whole process again before they could return your gun to you.

Even some family members are not exempt from Bloomberg’s proposal. A grand-uncle who lets you borrow his rifle for hunting is not exempt. Unmarried people who are living together may not be exempt. Even some members of blended families who are not related to each other are not exempt.

Furthermore, Bloomberg’s proposal is not enforceable. Law enforcement officers have no way of knowing if someone complied with the law. The only way to enforce this kind of law is through a universal firearm registration system. And make no mistake—Bloomberg’s proposal is the first step toward mandatory gun registration.

This law would create criminals out of Mainers who have followed safe firearms practices for generations.

Strict gun control has not worked in Chicago or Bloomberg’s hometown of New York City. Maine does not need ineffective gun laws that have not worked in those cities. More laws that deprive Mainers of their traditional use of firearms will not stop deranged people or terrorists from killing Americans.

Before you vote on this proposal, please understand the facts so you can make an educated decision.

About Paul LePage

Governor Paul LePage (R) has served as the 74th Governor of Maine since 2011. Prior to his time as governor, LePage served as the general manager of Marden's and as the mayor of Waterville.

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