HANCOCK COUNTY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Sheriffs from around the state are joining together and opposing Question 3 regarding background checks for gun sales.
Question 3 on the November ballot will require the buyer and seller of a gun to meet at a licensed dealer, where a background check will be done. Exceptions include emergency self-defense, while the parties are hunting or sport shooting, and transfers between family members.
Now 12 of the 16 Sheriffs in Maine have signed an opposition letter to Question 3.
Right now, Maine residents can sell a gun to another Maine resident without a background check.
Question 3 would also require background checks for all transfers, which includes lending someone your gun.
Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane said in a Facebook post that he has thoughtfully and carefully considered both sides of Question 3. He said,
“While we respect the position and opinions of others, a byproduct of the democracy we enjoy, after careful deliberations and discussions with proponents and opponents alike, I will be joining 11 other Sheriff's from around the State of Maine in voting No on #3.”
Other Sheriffs opposing the measure are: 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 Gallant, Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton, Piscataquis county Sheriff John Goggin, Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster, Waldo County Sheriff Jeffrey Trafton, Washington county Sheriff Barry Curtis and York County Sheriff William King.
Supporters of Question 3 say it prevents guns from getting into the hands of dangerous people through the unlicensed market.
Opponents say it's unreasonable to require people who know each other well to go through a background check to simply loan their friend a gun.
Maine Chiefs of Police Association came out in support of background checks last month.