Thank you Andy and Barbara Parker for making the trip to Maine to share your story with our volunteers. A moving reminder of why thousands of Mainers are volunteering their time to talk to neighbors about life-saving background checks, “Our purpose in this is to save the next life. To prevent this from happening to another family."
Question 3 closes this deadly loophole by requiring background checks for all gun sales. Put plainly, there would be no more “easy access” to guns for domestic abusers. So in light of all of this, when LePage says he opposes Question 3, it feels like he’s throwing away years of good work, and abandoning abuse victims all over Maine who have come to respect his work on their behalf.
If someone is so dangerous that the governor wants them to wear an ankle bracelet, then they’re too dangerous to have a gun. I hope the governor will take a long, hard look at his position and side with women all over Maine who have come to believe in him as a sincere advocate by supporting “Yes on Question 3.”
We live and work here. We raise our families, practice our faith, pay taxes and vote here. We are working hard to pass Question 3 for the sake of our families and our communities. We know that Question 3 will save Maine lives while preserving our proud tradition of gun ownership and the individual right to bear arms.
Under Question 3, Mainers legally entitled to guns for self defense, hunting and sport shooting will still have them, but some dangerous or disturbed people who mean to do harm will not. It’s the way life should be.
No Mainer wants his or her gun to end up in the hands of a criminal or at a crime scene. I personally know a former Maine law enforcement officer who sold his gun through a classified ad to someone he didn’t know only to be contacted months later by an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) in Massachusetts who had found his gun at a crime scene. The person who had purchased his gun was buying guns and supplying them to criminals. Background checks help prevent this from happening.
"Police have charged the boyfriend of a Hollis woman with domestic violence and assault, after the woman was shot five times by a man who was trying to save her. Police said that about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday on River Road, 30-year-old Ryan Giliken assaulted his girlfriend.
A 30-year-old man who rents an apartment on the property tried to help the woman. That’s when Giliken allegedly assaulted him as well. In an attempt to defend himself and the woman, police said the man fired his gun but accidentally shot the woman in the stomach and leg."
Closer to home the Maine Chiefs of Police Association supports Question 3 calling for background checks on private gun sales. According to Police Chief Ed Googins of South Portland, “Criminal background checks are the single most effective way to prevent felons, domestic abusers, people with severe mental illness and other dangerous people from purchasing a firearm.” That’s an excellent point, and now that we have a law allowing anyone to carry a concealed weapon without a permit in Maine, no experience with firearms or safety training necessary, let’s make sure all guns sold in the state go to responsible individuals with a legal right to own a gun.
Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every American adult, according to the most definitive portrait of US gun ownership in two decades. But the new survey estimates that 133m of these guns are concentrated in the hands of just 3% of American adults – a group of super-owners who have amassed an average of 17 guns each.
In the 18 years since Zed Nelson’s seminal photography book Gun Nation was published, 500,000 Americans have been killed by firearms in the US and many more injured. Nelson returns to the people he met, photographs them again, and asks why America is a nation still with an insatiable appetite for firearms.
“It’s a common-sense proposal that will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” said South Portland Police Chief Ed Googins at a news conference in Gorham. “Criminal background checks are the single most effective way to prevent felons, domestic abusers, people with severe mental illness and other dangerous people from purchasing a firearm.”