The Maine Warden Service has come forward with concerns about Question 3 on the ballot mandating background checks for private gun transfers. Gun control groups have backed the ballot measure with more than $3 million in donations. If passed, the law would require individuals to obtain background checks before being allowed to have a firearm transferred to them from any private individual.
The Warden Service of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife spoke of its concerns that the new law would have on hunting. A statement posted by the service explained, “For example, the law will make it far more difficult for two hunters who have no criminal records and are legally entitled by law to possess firearms to share or loan their firearm to other legal hunters who are not prohibited from possessing firearms.”
According to the measure, if someone borrowed a firearm, the gun owner would be required to accompany anyone who borrows the gun at all times, a move that the service calls an “enforcement nightmare.” The service asked Maine citizens to seriously think about the effects that the measure would have on its heritage before voting on it.
Established in Maine in 1880, the service is staffed by 125 law enforcement officers and regulates hunting in the vast New England woodland. It is also featured in Northwoods Law, a popular show on the Animal Planet channel.
Other groups have come forward against the measure including Friends of Maine Sportsmen, Sportsman’s Alliance of Main and Gun Owners of Maine. Gov. Paul LePage, (Rep.) calls it the next step in gun confiscation.
The majority of elected sheriffs in the state say that the measure is not needed in a state regarded as the most peaceful in the United States. Citizens will have the opportunity to vote on the measure on November 8.