Maine isn’t the only state facing a gun control referendum like Question 3 this fall. In Nevada, voters are confronted with an almost identical ballot initiative called Question 1. The Law Vegas Review Journal ran a story on an analysis of this gun control initiative by the Guinn Center. This independent think tank’s study found:
- [it could] be a challenge to enforce, if not altogether unenforceable, without a firearm registration scheme — especially in rural counties with limited resources;
- [a] claim made by the measure’s opponents seems to be supported by a 2001 Department of Justice survey of inmates, which found that less than 1 percent of the criminals obtained a gun through an unlicensed sale at a gun show;
- [it could] be a financial impact if the state and the FBI decide to jettison Nevada’s current in-state background check system. If the FBI takes over the whole operation, Nevada will lose $2.7 million in revenue per year.
- the “reasonable fee” the measure proposes to charge for background checks on private-party sales and transfers of firearms is not defined. [This leaves open the possibility for firearms dealers to charge unreasonably high fees.]
A University of Pittsburgh study backs up the Guinn Center’s analysis. They found that almost 80% of gun crimes are committed with illegally-possessed guns. The Washington Post, which is usually favors more gun control laws, was forced to admit the findings “…reinforce a common refrain among gun rights advocacy groups. They argue that since criminals don't follow laws, new regulations on gun ownership would only serve to burden lawful owners while doing little to combat crime.”