Email blast from Alex Geiger, a member of the Sportsmen’s Alliance of Maine and Gun Owners of Maine:
This proposal for Universal Background Checks will be vigorously challenged in Maine. However, it will take a MASSIVE public education effort to defeat this proposal. Below is a “cliff notes” list of reasons to OPPOSE this proposal (14 reasons in no particular order) . . .
1. Practically all the recent mass killers that used a gun (as opposed another inanimate object such as a knife or car) either passed a background check and/or stole the weapons they used. The background checks proved to be ineffective at stopping these crimes.
2. It is already illegal to knowingly sell a gun via private sale to an individual that is a “prohibited person”, or “across state lines” to a buyer who is not a resident of the same state.
3. The vast majority of gun sales go through Federal Firearms Licensees that must perform a background check on ALL gun sales (even at gun shows, over the Internet, etc…). There is NO so-called “gun show loophole” for these dealers.
4. The criminal element will not subject themselves to these private sale background checks. In fact, they tend to avoid private sales with UNKNOWN sellers for fear that they may be police gun sale “sting” operations. The criminal element generally obtains guns via theft, from other known criminal associates, or trusted family and friends via illegal “straw purchases”.
5. The Universal Background Checks can only be implemented with Universal Gun Registration (which history shows ultimately leads to Universal Gun Confiscation).
6. This proposal is deceptively “sold” (and polled) as coming into play during the PURCHASE (i.e. change of ownership) of a firearm, however, the actual details of the proposal also affects the POSSESSION of firearms (e.g. loaning a gun to a hunting buddy for hunting season / transfer of a gun during a shooting range practice session).
7. Universal Background Checks result in a de-facto a ban on handgun ownership for 18 to 21 year olds since Federal Law prohibits a Federal Firearms Licensee to transfer a handgun to anyone under the age of 21.
8. There is something inherently wrong in requiring citizens to obtain prior permission from the government before exercising U.S. Constitutional Rights – which is a basic problem with background checks in general. Implementing Universal Background Checks takes away the small sliver of freedom that still remains, and takes away liberties that Mainers have historically responsibly exercised.
9. The Maine UBC referendum effort is being driven and paid for by out-of-state interests, primarily former NYC Mayor Bloomberg. This is an out-of-state abuse of the Maine citizen initiative process, and is highly resented by Mainers.
10. The UBC referendum is in direct violation of the Maine State Constitution which states, “Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms and this right shall NEVER be questioned”.
11. Mandating that citizens of a large rural state like Maine travel long distances to meet up at a Federal Firearm Dealer to get approval for a firearms transfer is an unfair burden on them.
12. Maine is one of the safest states in the nation – there is certainly no need for additional criminal checks on the citizenry. UBC is a failed New York solution to a problem that Maine does not have.
13. This UBC proposal is just another in a long line of burdensome regulatory and taxation requirements. Instead, we need to be reducing regulations as Maine successfully did with Constitutional Carry.
14. The ATF recently announced that it is already struggling with the current volume of gun background checks due to very high gun sales. Related to this, the FBI announced that they will suspend processing appeals for those citizens unjustly denied gun purchases (i.e. false positives). If you are wrongfully denied a gun purchase you have no recourse. In other words, your freedoms are in the hands of un-elected bureaucrats and you have NO recourse by purchasing a gun via a private sale.
Final Note: This whole issue reminds me of the 1994 “Assault Weapons Ban” whereby the general public’s confusion between full-auto and semi-auto was used to ban military-style rifles with certain cosmetic features (this law “sun-setted” 10 years later in 2004). One can only hope that the Maine people will be smart enough not to fall for this UBC deception.