AUGUSTA — The Maine Women’s Lobby today announced its endorsement of a “Yes” vote on Question 3, which would require a background check for all gun sales in Maine.
“Since it’s founding 37 years ago, The Maine Women’s Lobby has focused on public policy issues that help women live safe and secure lives, free of violence, harassment or sexual assault,” said Eliza Townsend, the executive director of the organization. “We know that requiring background checks for all guns sales is the most effective way to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. While Maine is a safe state, violence against women is a persistent and deadly problem. Blocking domestic abusers from getting guns will help to protect women and keep violent domestic abuse situations from turning deadly.”
More than 5,500 gun sales have been blocked by background checks since 1998, but there’s a loophole in the law that allows criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people to purchase a firearm from an unlicensed seller. Question 3 closes that loophole.
Of those gun sales that were stopped by background checks in Maine, more than 1,200 were domestic abusers.
In states that require background checks for all gun sales, 46 percent fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partners.
“No law will stop all crime, but requiring background checks for all gun sales will help to protect women from domestic abusers,” Townsend said. “This is a common-sense proposal that should matter to every person in Maine. Domestic violence touches too many families already. Question 3 can make a difference.”
The Maine Women’s Lobby advocates on behalf of Maine women and girls in the areas of freedom from violence, freedom from discrimination, access to health care, and economic security. More information is available at www.mainewomen.org.