People are quickly finding that, like many political issues, the devil is in the details, and Question 3 is no exception.
Along with several other misguided questions coming in front of Maine voters this November, these marching orders from entities “from away” are not very well suited for those of us who live here and are raising families in sync with the heritage and traditions that separate Maine from the rest of New England, and most of the nation.
Question 3 is being billed as a simple, harmless “universal” background check bill that (they claim) will help keep firearms out of the wrong hands. Unfortunately, none of the above is true. But it will deeply impact law-abiding Maine citizens who will not be able to help but break this law, due to its far reach and hidden consequences, if allowed to pass.
One section that is particularly troubling is the outright ban on purchasing a pistol by anyone under 21 years of age.
Under Maine law, a person can obtain a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) at the age of 18. If this misguided referendum question were to pass, the new law would be in direct conflict with the CHP law, as it will immediately be illegal for anyone under 18 years of age to purchase a handgun, as it is illegal for a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer (FFL) to transfer a handgun to anyone under the age of 21..
Just like in New York City, an entire class of now legal citizens will be discriminated against based solely on their age for the first time in Maine.
These young men and women will be old enough to enlist in the military to fight and die for their country, be considered legal adults for contractual purposes and they will be able to vote, yet they will be disarmed for three more years because of this referendum.
Now think about this; when young men and women are graduating from high school and choosing their career path, we are fortunate to have many of them enlist in the Maine Criminal Justice Academy for law enforcement (LE) training. It is a prime time to start a new career. But because it will be illegal to even purchase a pistol to train with or have as a duty gun, this option will be off the table.
I have never heard a police agency make the claim that too many new people are getting involved in law enforcement, and if we force these new adults to wait for another three long years, most will undoubtedly be well on a different career path before reaching the Bloomberg-approved age to participate in this honorable profession.
I predict it will be a nanosecond before the paid advocates for Question 3 pipe in, exclaiming “There is a law enforcement exemption” or “Their father can buy it for them.” Those who reply may even be administrative police officers, but I urge you to look at their involvement with outside gun control groups in the past, as many LE advocates for these anti-gun groups are directly affiliated with them, some even serving on their board of directors.
Bzzzztttt! Wrong, this is just more smoke and mirrors. While there are exemptions for current law enforcement officers, there is no exemption for students who wish to become law enforcement officers under Question 3. They must be hired as a police officer before meeting this hair thin exemption, and that is unlikely to happen before even attending the most basic training.
As far as “their parent purchasing it for them,” that is known as a “straw purchase” and is VERY illegal under federal law. The only exemption we have so graciously been allowed here is for a parent to purchase the pistol and present it as a “gift.”
You see, this is a huge problem with this bill; it forces EVERY transfer (not just sale) to go through a Federal Licensed Firearms Dealer (FFL) and they cannot transfer a handgun to anyone under 21 years of age.
This takes 100% local and state control away from us, forcing us to comply with a the much more restrictive federal law pertaining to sales.
Does this even begin to make any sense, whatsoever? Of course not. But, like every other aspect of Question 3, there is zero ability to fix or adjust it in any way before passage.
There are also no “mistakes” or “unintended” oversight issues with the question, as presented. Every single aspect of it is in there for a specific reason and is completely intentional.
If you are one of the wealthiest men in America and task a legal firm to write a referendum question to impose your will on unsuspecting state residents, everything within the question is intentional. This is what happens when people “from away” dictate rules for the rest of us to live under.
This problem alone is an obvious reason that I don’t support Question 3, but unfortunately, there are many more “unintended” consequences that are just as serious that we will take up another time.
But the bottom line is that we have no “problem” requiring this New York City solution in the first place.
Last I knew the sign at the border reads “Maine, The Way Life Should Be” not “Maine, The Way They Do It In New York City.”