Friday, June 28, 2013

Background Check Veto Upheld In Maine

The Maine State Legislature passed a universal background checks bill on June 19th in what was considered a surprise vote. The bill had been defeated twice before in the State Senate.
In a surprise vote Wednesday, the Maine Senate passed a bill that creates civil penalties for those who sell guns in private sales to people who are prohibited from having them.

The legislation imposes a civil fine of $500 if a gun seller does not perform a background check and the buyer is later discovered to be a prohibited person.

The bill, LD 1240, was first watered down by the Senate, but on Tuesday, the House of Representatives sent the original measure back to the Senate. The Senate approved the bill on a 18-17 vote, with two rural Democrats joining Republicans in the minority on the measure.
Fortunately for Maine gun owners, Gov. Paul LePage (R-ME) was true to his word and vetoed the bill. He said the bill only impacted honest gun owners and for that reason he vetoed the bill.

Yesterday, the Maine State House voted to uphold the governor's veto in a 77-71 vote. The gun prohibitionists in the State House are now threatening to go to a referendum to pass the measure and cite the misleading poll number from an anti-gun push poll.
The background-check bill, L.D. 1240, sponsored by Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland, would have created a civil violation for selling a gun to a person prohibited from owning a gun, such as a convicted felon.

It originally was a sweeping bill that would have mandated background checks before all gun purchases. His bill passed narrowly in the Legislature earlier this month, and the House upheld the veto in a 77-71 vote on Wednesday.

In his veto message, LePage said the bill was focused "on those who would choose to obey the law, and for that reason I believe it misses the target."

"This is an issue that may need to go straight to our citizens," Dion said in a statement after the vote. "The governor described my bill as 'well-meaning,' but public policy requires more than intentions, it requires action."

Dion was referring to a potential referendum on the matter: J. Thomas Franklin, president of Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence, a pro-gun control group, said last week that it is considering bringing a citizens' initiative to ask Maine voters to decide on mandatory background checks in 2014.
Searching the Maine register of lobbyists, I cannot find any that represent Mayor Bloomberg's Illegal Mayors nor any that represent other gun prohibitionist group. I am going to assume that Bloomberg didn't employ his full court press like he did in Colorado and Nevada.

Still that a state like Maine with a long tradition of protecting gun rights would have even considered such a bill - much less passed one - is disappointing. Maine, like the rest of northern New England, is changing and, in my opinion, not for the better.


  1. Yep! Maine is changing, and not for the better in a lot of ways.. too many people moving in "from away" that are bringing in their Progressive Fascism and need for things like garbage collection rather than a trip to the dump. Maine also raised taxes in a bill that passed the senate and house, and LePage vetoed.. unfortunately, with weak kneed rino republican support due to threats of holding people responsible for a government shut down, that veto was overridden. We COULD get a four year reprieve and keep LePage since there is a leftist democrat and Progressive Independent challenging the governor in 2014, so LePage has a shot by dividing the vote... that is how he got in by somewhat of a surprise in 2010... But it is only a matter of time. I am looking to be a person "from away" and move my engineering consulting business to a red state out west.. since I have to travel all the time anyway (no business climate here!).. However, in contrast to the rats moving in here for a feast, my 'from away" beliefs will be to preserve or enhance the 2nd amendment, add to my new home's GDP and preserve/enhance the pro-small business climate.

    1. @DamDoc: If your consulting has to do with dams, we in WNC have quite a few as does Tennessee. TN has probably a smaller influx of people from NY and NJ so may be a bit better for your purposes but we are fighting back in NC.

  2. I agree with DamDoc. The problem isn't with those of us in northern New England, but those that are migrating north to escape the damage they have done in southern New England. In New Hampshire we call most of them Massholes (I let you guess where most of them come from). They move to get away from the high taxes and crime and then vote for the same failed policies that caused the problems in the first place.

  3. @DamDoc and David: You've confirmed what I suspected. That it is people "from away" that are changing the state.

    My dad retired to the Waldoboro area in the early 1970s when he left the Army. He was tolerated and then accepted because he wasn't a Masshole or New Yorker. He was a North Carolina boy who had served 28 years in the Army, had a big woodpile, and drove a pickup truck.

  4. John.. i was in western nc a couple weeks ago.. in the Sylva-Cashiers area.. beautiful country, great like minded people, and definately on the list.... my dad moved us here from indiana as a kid, and the neighbors said to my dad "if your kids stay here long enough, they might be accepted, but you never will be" Unfortunately SE maine is growing, and the interior (where the maine character is/was) is shrinking... David.. we call em that, pilgrims and flatlanders, too...

    1. @DamDoc: What your neighbors in ME said to your dad also goes for WNC. I'm a NC native - though I've had neighbors mistake me for a Floridian - but I will never be considered a local in Haywood County despite living there for 30 years.

      I know Sylva and Cashiers (Kaz-Yurs) well. I live in the adjoining county and have many friends and clients in Jackson County.

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