Maine may have (mostly) voted for Hillary Clinton, but they soundly rejected a gun control proposal backed by Michael Bloomberg that would have expanded background checks across the state:
Question 3 would have made it illegal for a person to lend or gift a firearm to a friend without a background check. Given Maine’s strong gun culture, Constitutional carry law, and relative lack of gun crime, many voters were concerned that this measure was attempting to “solve” a problem that didn’t actually exist in the state.
The measure failed 52 percent to 48 percent. Gun rights advocates praised the results:
“This is a great night for the people of Maine,” Chris Cox, executive director for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement. “With their freedoms in question and liberties at stake, they embraced the rights recognized in our constitution and said no to the poorly written, unenforceable mandates of the Question 3 ballot initiative.”
David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, said while there are ways the sides can work together to address gun violence, he doesn’t expect to see another background check expansion proposal any time soon.
“They made a run on gun control – Hillary (Clinton) ran on it – and they lost, and I think that sends a pretty clear message, particularly to the Democratic party,” said Trahan, who led the opposition to Question 3.
With Republicans in control of both Congress and the White House, 2017 should be a banner year for gun rights.