Letter: Close the loophole on gun sales in Maine

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I write not as a conservative or liberal, not as a gun owner or non-owner, but as a Mainer concerned for our public safety. A gap exists in the current gun law that contradicts its intent: to protect the general welfare of us all.

Maine law requires licensed gun dealers to complete background checks on all of their buyers before a sale can occur. However, it does not require private sellers, like those who conduct business at gun shows, online, or through Uncle Henry’s, to perform this same safeguard. In essence, a buyer possesses the ability to avoid a background check simply by choosing where to purchase his or her firearm.

Collectively, we as conservatives or liberals, as gun owners or non-owners, are all stakeholders in ensuring the safety of our children, our families, and our communities. This November a citizens’ initiative will appear on the ballot that respects our Second Amendment right to bear arms and seeks only to require background checks on all gun sales. I urge you to join me in voting in favor of this initiative.

Margaret H. Northup