Why Bloomberg's Ballot Initiative Is Bad For Our Mainers' Gun Rights
Loaning a gun to a friend for a hunting trip. A service member storing firearms with a close friend while deployed overseas. These are two common scenarios that are played out across America, but if gun control proponents get their way, they would become illegal transfers that would turn otherwise law-abiding individuals into criminals. That's what Bloomberg's gun-control initiative will ultimately do—create criminals, not capture or stop them.
Would Not Stop Criminals
Question 3, the Bloomberg Gun Control Initiative, does nothing to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms. Criminals will continue to break the law and acquire firearms where they do now: the black market, straw purchasers, theft and illicit sources such as drug dealers.
According to the Department of Justice, 77 percent of criminals in state prison for firearm crimes get firearms through theft, on the black market, “on the street,” or from family members and friends. Less than one percent get firearms from dealers or non-dealers at gun shows.
ATF has reported, “[t]he most frequent type of trafficking channel identified in ATF investigations is straw purchasing from federally licensed firearms dealers.” Criminals defeat the background check system by getting guns through straw purchasers. The terrorists who attacked in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015, used firearms they acquired through an alleged straw purchaser.
Criminalizes Sales & Transfers
Question 3 would criminalize otherwise lawful transfers unless both parties appear jointly at a gun dealer, have a check run and are subjected to fees. "Transfers" are not just limited to sales but apply to any situation where a firearm owner relinquishes possession unless specifically enumerated as an exception.
This means that any time a person hands a firearm to another person, they are potentially exposing themselves to conviction for a misdemeanor that on a first offense can carry jail time of up to a year and a $2,000 fine. Despite this fact, the initiative’s supporters continue to portray the initiative as applying only to gun sales. What are they trying to hide?
Exceptions Are Misleading
Question 3 supposedly exempts transfers for hunting and shooting ranges, but because of the initiative language the exemptions are restrictive and confusing. For example, a firearm can be borrowed to shoot at an established shooting range however that same activity away from an established range such as public land is not authorized and would constitute an illegal transfer.
Unenforceable And Unfunded
"Universal" Background Checks are not universal because criminals will never comply with these requirements. According to the National Institute of Justice, "Universal" Background Checks are unenforceable without requiring complete gun registration. Question 3 is an unenforceable, unfunded mandate on law-abiding citizens that will only divert law enforcement's already scarce resources and would provide the first step in creating a registry of all law-abiding gun owners.
Ways You Can Take Action Now
Election Day 2016 will be here before you know it, and to ensure this background checks initiative is rejected, we need your active participation now!