Letter: Yes on Question 3 is an easy decision

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Every fall at our camp in the White Mountains my friends, family and I go hunting, and I can tell you there’s no place prettier this time of year.

Getting outside while hunting for deer and upland birds, or plinking at targets, is a great way to pass time with buddies.

But just because we’re gun owners and outdoorsmen doesn’t mean we ought to reject reasonable steps to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

Question 3 applies the same rules, whether we buy from a gun shop or from a neighbor – and I’ve done both before.

Background checks may mean one extra step to getting in the woods, but so does taking a hunter safety course, or planning to get a license. One step to help limit access to guns in the hands of those who’d do themselves or others harm? That’s easy.

I’ll be voting yes on 3.

Peter Quesada
South Freeport 

  • areyoukiddingme

    IF ONLY Q3 applied to sales. That’s the issue it applies to lots of things that are not sales. Loan a friend a shotgun to take to your camp and then it happens that you and he drive to the NH camp in separate cars. Both felons, no guns ever. That make any sense. Read the law and please vote no.

  • beachmom H

    Not one person has answered my question of how is this going to stop one crime?
    Is this going to be the magic law that makes criminals see the light and be law abiding citizens?
    Is this going to stop thefts?
    No. It will only make criminals out of law abiding citizens.
    There are already background checks. 99% of gun sales are done with background checks already.
    This is not going to solve anything.
    The money to push this comes from NY Nanny Bloomberg. Stop allowing out of staters to change our state.

    • EABeem

      Are you then opposed to all background checks?

      • beachmom H

        Did I say that?
        I don’t think so.
        Background checks are already done in stores and at gun shows.
        This is creating problems and making law abiding citizens into criminals.
        The wording specifically states that you have to be out hunting to let someone borrow or use your firearm.
        That makes wills criminal documents when they include firearms. It makes costly background checks at gunsmiths mandatory to drop off and pick up your own firearm. Etc.
        You do like to twist words.

        • EABeem

          I was simply asking a question for clarification. You asked how this law would stop crime. I was wondering whether you thought no background checks prevent crime or whether just background checks on unlicensed sales would not prevent crimes. If one believes that background checks help keep guns out of the wrong hands, then one should support background checks on all sales. But I understand that the language of the underlying law is unnecessarily broad.

          Here again are the exceptions. They could be revised to cover other unintended consequences.

          8. Exceptions. The provisions of this section apply to the transfer or sale of a
          firearm between unlicensed persons except if:

          A. The sale or transfer is between family members;

          B. The firearm is a curio or relic, as defined in 27 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 478.11 (2015), and the sale or transfer is between collectors of firearms as curios or relics, as defined by 18 United States Code, Section 921(a)(13) (2015), who both have in their possession a valid collector of curios and relics license issued by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives;

          C. The sale or transfer is of an antique firearm, as defined in 18 United States Code, Section 921(a)(16) (2015);

          D. The transfer is temporary and is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm, and:

          (1) The transfer lasts only as long as necessary to prevent such threat; and

          (2) The transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee is disqualified to possess firearms under state or federal law and has no reason to believe that the transferee intends to use the firearm in the commission of a crime;

          E. Either the transferor or the transferee is a law enforcement agency or the Department of Corrections or is, to the extent the person is acting within the course of the person’s employment or official duties, a peace officer, a law enforcement officer, a corrections officer, a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces, a federal law enforcement officer or a person licensed as a security guard or employed by a contract security company or proprietary security organization under Title 32, chapter 93;

          F. The transfer is temporary, the transferor has no reason to believe that the
          transferee intends to use the firearm in the commission of a crime and the transfer and the transferee’s possession of the firearm take place exclusively:

          (1) At an established shooting range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located or, if no such authorization is required, operated consistently with local law in such jurisdiction;

          (2) At a lawfully organized competition involving the use of a firearm or for participation in or practice for a performance by an organized group that uses firearms as a part of the performance;

          (3) While the transferee is hunting or trapping if such activity is legal in all places where the transferee possesses the firearm and the transferee holds any license or permit required for such activity; or

          (4) In the actual presence of the transferor

          Any transfer allowed by this paragraph is permitted only if the transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee is disqualified to possess firearms under state or federal law or, if the transferee is under 18 years of age and is receiving the firearm under direct supervision and control of an adult, that such adult is disqualified to possess firearms under state or federal law; or

          G. The transfer occurs by operation of law upon the death of a person for whom the transferee is an executor, administrator, trustee or personal representative of an estate or a trust created in a will.

          • beachmom H

            Maine already has background checks. You still did not answer my initial question.

          • EABeem

            Universal background checks will stop crimes the same way existing background checks do, by making it more difficult for dangerous people to purchase firearms. If we are going to have background checks at all, we should have them on all sales.

          • beachmom H

            Criminals steal firearms and get them with strawman purchases. Some even pass background checks. So your answer is wrong.

          • EABeem

            So, back to my original question, are you saying we should not have background checks all? It sounds as if you are. Yes, felons can get guns illegally. But is that a reason to say we should just let them buy guns legally? I have actually heard opponents of Question 3 say that because it is already a crime for a felon to own a gun we don’t need another law making it illegal for a felon to buy a gun. That’s just nut. Background checks do work and do prevent gun sales to felons, and would work better if we had background checks on ALL sales. I understand that there are problems with the language of the law, but unless you are seriously arguing that we should not have background checks at all, I see no reason why you should oppose having background checks on ALL sales. Let the BDN try to explain it to you:

            “If the point of requiring background checks before selling guns is to keep firearms out of the hands of people who aren’t supposed to have them, Maine, along with most other states, is failing. That’s because an estimated 40 percent of gun sales take place online or through other venues that do not require background checks.

            Federal and Maine law prohibits the sale of firearms to felons, domestic abusers and others deemed too dangerous to own them. But without background checks on thousands of gun sales each year, it is impossible to keep these prohibited buyers from obtaining guns.”

          • beachmom H

            You still haven’t answered my question as to how this is going inspire criminals to stop being criminals. So I guess we can just end this useless conversation because you just want to run in circles and not answer.
            Have a nice day.

          • EABeem

            If criminals can just steal guns or get them through straw purchases, why do we need background checks at all? Isn’t that what you are saying? In answer to your question, nothing is going to stop some people from committing crimes. Does that mean we should not have laws, courts, prisons? Come on, be logical. If you are saying that background checks don’t work so we should stop doing them, say so. If you think we should have background checks, then you should understand that they are not as effective as they might be if 40% of gun sales are conducted privately without checks.

      • beachmom H

        And you still did not answer the question.