The “No on 3” folks would have you believe that expanding background checks on gun sales is a plot hatched by Michael Bloomberg and carried out by out-of-staters. But Mainers collected nearly 85,000 signatures from Maine citizens in nearly every town in the state to put this issue on the ballot.

As the law stands now, those who attempt to buy a gun in Maine from a licensed dealer and fail the background check because they are either a felon, domestic abuser or are severely mentally ill can simply turn to the unlicensed person on the internet or at a gun show and purchase a gun without a background check.

Because this situation exists, Maine has the dubious distinction of being a prime source of guns that turn up at crime scenes in other New England states that have comprehensive background checks already in place.

The Maine Chiefs of Police are urging a “yes” vote on Question 3. In states with this measure in place there are fewer suicides with firearms, fewer police officers killed with handguns, fewer women killed in domestic violence incidents and less trafficking of guns from those states. Nearly half of all murders in Maine are domestic abuse cases.

The new law will allow exceptions that recognize how guns are sometimes loaned or shared within a family and beyond.

The morning after ballot Question 3 passes nothing changes for law-abiding citizens except that fewer of our loved ones will be the victims of violent crime.

Maryann Larson


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