The Maine ballot initiative labeled Question 3 requires individuals to go through background checks before borrowing a gun from a friend for the purposes of hunting.
While this will not keep anyone safer, it will have the result of increasing the paper trail on guns and gun owners, thereby providing the government with yet another avenue by which they can search out guns that were purchased privately — off the books — rather than at retail. Breitbart News has long warned that the expansion of background checks is a tool that governments — whether state or federal — can use to find guns for which no paper trail currently exists. And Maine’s Question 3 is a perfect illustration of the validity of such warnings.
According to the Portland Press Herald, “The debate over Question 3 is increasingly focused on language that would require background checks before Mainers could loan guns to each other, an issue that has allowed opponents to rally hunters and other gun owners against the ballot measure.” Moreover, the background check that would be required for loaning a gun to a friend carries a fee. In other words, you not only help create a paper trail for the shotgun your grandfather gave you before he passed away but also pay for the services that create such a trail.
Once these aspects of the initiative were uncovered, support for Question 3 dropped from “61 percent” in early October to barely over 50 percent by mid-to-late October, and there is no reason to doubt that support has continued to wane. At the same time, polls show that determined opposition to Question 3 has made a sharp increase.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.