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Sheriff Donna Dennison
Knox County


October 4, 2016

Maine Sheriffs Announce Formal Opposition to Question 3
Ballot Initiative Will Not Stop Criminals from Acquiring Guns

Farmington, ME - Today the undersigned Sheriffs in the state of Maine announce our formal opposition to Question 3, a ballot initiative expanding firearm background checks that will appear on the ballot this fall.

We strongly believe the people of Maine should know that the Chief Law Enforcement Officer from twelve of the sixteen counties who are elected to protect your families and homes do not support the Question 3.

ballot initiative. This measure will do nothing to stop evil people from getting their hands on guns. In fact all relevant data indicates that criminals acquire firearms through theft and the black market. This initiative will not stop the reoccurring pattern.

We live in one of the safest states in the country and strongly believe no provisions in this legislation would reduce gun violence or crime in Maine. In fact, Question 3 is unenforceable, confusing, poorly written and threatens to make law-abiding gun owners into criminals for simply loaning a firearm to a friend. By and large, the people who commit crimes with firearms are not concerned with good citizenship, compliance with existing law and are repeat offenders. It’s the law-abiding citizens who comply with gun laws that are the most affected by arbitrary gun laws and will be most affected by Question 3.

As anyone who has gone through the process to legally obtain a firearm in Maine knows, there is no dearth of existing laws that regulate the sale, purchase, and transfer of firearms. As members of the law enforcement community, we support public policy that targets criminals and lends to the full prosecution of those individuals under the law. We will continue to develop and promote worthwhile crime fighting proposals and effective firearm laws at all levels of government. We cannot, however, support Question 3.

Signed by:

Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson, Aroostook County Sheriff Darrell O. Crandall, Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane, Knox County Sheriff Donna Dennison, Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols, Oxford County Sheriff Wayne J. Gallant, Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton, Piscataquis County Sheriff John J. Goggin, Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster, Waldo County Sheriff Jeffrey C. Trafton, Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis, and York County Sheriff William King.

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