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Maine: Senate to Vote on Legislation that Attacks Private Firearm Transfers

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Maine Senate will decide the fate of LD 1240, legislation that attacks private firearm transfers, loans and sales, as early as today.

If passed and enacted into law, LD 1240 would make the following misguided changes to Maine’s current firearm laws:

  1. Establishes an egregious $500 civil fine that will impact individuals who unknowingly transfer a firearm to a prohibited person.  Using strict liability to govern firearms transfers is problematic because a person can be convicted based solely on the fact that a transfer occurred despite the fact that individual may have had no knowledge that the transferee was a prohibited person.
  2. Subjects those who may go by a nickname or a middle name to an egregious $1,000 fine for failing to provide their legal name on a record of a firearm sale.  This provision is problematic because there is no requirement that the name given be materially fictitious.  Thus, a purchaser who goes by a name other than their legal name, and provides this name to a dealer, could be fined.
  3. Unjustly burdens law-abiding citizens by creating a system of fines, and in some cases criminal liability, for the private sale of firearms.

Currently, it is illegal under Maine and federal law to knowingly sell a firearm to a person who is a prohibited person.  Likewise, it a felony under Maine and federal law for a prohibited person to buy, own or possess a firearm.  However, this legislation seeks to make drastic and unnecessary changes to current firearms laws that will unduly place law-abiding citizens at risk rather than addressing the true problems associated with straw purchases.

Given the alarming passage of LD 1240 today in the Maine House of Representatives by a 78-66 vote, your immediate action is needed to stop this onerous gun control legislation from being sent to Governor LePage (R).  Please call AND e-mail your state Senator NOW and urge him or her to vote against LD 1240.

Click here for help identifying your state Senator and his or her contact information.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.