Initiative would require background checks WCSH
PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Next year, Mainers could be asked to vote on whether or not criminal background checks should be required for all gun sales. The group Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense filed the paperwork Monday with the Secretary of State. The initiative focuses on private gun sales and transfers which do not require a criminal background check in Maine.
The application was filed by Judi and Wayne Richardson who lost their daughter Darien back in 2010 during a home invasion. She was asleep in her room when strangers broke into her apartment and shot her; the 25-year-old later died from her wounds. The case remains unsolved, but the gun used in the crime was bought at a gun show, where a criminal background checks are not required.
This loophole is what the supports want to close with the initiative; it would require criminal background checks on all gun sales and transactions conducted between private sellers or at gun shows.
If the initiative moves forward, gun owners would need to go to a licensed dealer to complete the sale.
“I own guns, I purchase guns.I have run a background check on myself. It only takes two minutes in most cases. It is not a hard thing to go through, let’s just close this loophole and make it safe for all Mainers,” said Wayne Richardson.
The Richardsons said this would even the playing field for everyone arguing this is about gun safety not gun control.
“Gun violence is happening on a weekly basis. We don’t like to talk about it so much in Maine, but it happens,” said Judi Richardson.
The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine does not agree with the initiative. It said the measure would be expensive and difficult to enforce.
Supporters will need to collect 61,123 valid signatures before Jan. 22 to qualify for the ballot.