Maine Bill Would Require ‘Voluntary’ Checks for Private Gun Sales

Gun grabbers in the state of Maine are asking the Legislature to take the first steps to provide background checks for private sales of firearms. The bill would ask individual gun sellers to do what are termed “voluntary” background checks on buyers. But under the proposed law in L.D. 1240, if a seller does not do a check and the gun is later used in a crime, the seller would face a $500 civil fine. A second offense would make it a Class E misdemeanor. The bill would also make it a Class D crime to knowingly sell a gun to someone not allowed to own one. So, this law is not exactly as “voluntary” as it sounds.

The group “Coalition for a Safer Maine” said Wednesday that the background check law would help reduce cases of gun violence (even though they have no evidence to verify this claim). Current law requires licensed gun dealers to do background checks on all sales, but there are thousands of individual, private sales each year in Maine that don’t require a background check.

Gun right advocates say  the proposed law is the first step to requiring universal background checks for all gun sales –that’s something they don’t want.

David Trahan of the Sportsmen’s Alliance of Maine says the law would impose too much of a burden on gun sellers, and that the threat of a fine contradicts the idea of the background checks being voluntary.

The bill is expected to come up for a vote in the House by the end of this week, and its fate in the Legislature isn’t clear. Lawmakers have so far been unwilling to  pass other gun control bills, including one to require background checks at gun shows. So, citizens of Maine should contact their elected officials and demand them to oppose L.D. 1240.


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  • Tim

    Again people, how many times do I have to mention this…. “firearms” and “guns” are not the same as defined in law under USC Title 26 Section 5845.

    The definitions for what a “firearm” is are NOT under the criminal code of the US which is Title 18, but rather, the “real” definitions of “firearms” is found under Title 26! That’s right, the Tax Code! Do you know why? It all has to do with the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF ring a bell?) prohibition acts of the 1920’s, which is now known as the National Firearms Act. It has often been said that a Sales Tax on a gun is illegal, because if the gov. could tax a gun, they could tax it out of reach of the common man. Well, guess what they “tried” to do…

    Anyway, first off, I’d like to explain that if you are ever charged with “failure to register a firearm” or “possession of an unregistered firearm”, here’s a little food for thought…

    U.S. Supreme Court’s 1968 Haynes v. U.S. decision:

    Haynes, a convicted felon, was convicted of unlawful possession of an unregistered short-barreled shotgun. He argued that for a convicted felon to register a gun was effectively an announcement to the government that he was breaking the law and that registration violated his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.
    The court, by an 8 to 1 margin, agreed, concluding: “We hold that a proper claim of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecutions either for failure to register a firearm, or for possession of an unregistered firearm.”

    Now, that was a case against a true “firearm”. Let’s explain that a “firearm” is NOT just any gun. Remember, this was enacted during the times of Al Capone and other gangsters, and the government couldn’t have gangsters running around with guns better than theirs.

    26 USC 5845 – Definitions

    Go read through the definitions of a “firearm”, and what you’ll find is this. A firearm is:
    * A short-barreled or sawed-off shot gun LESS than 18in [5845(a)(1) and (a)(2)]. So if you have a shot gun of 18in or more, and you haven’t sawed-off the handle, you’re good, it’s not a firearm.

    * A short-barreled rifle LESS than 16in [5845(a)(3)]. So, 16in or more and you’re fine.
    [5845(c)] A “rifle” means a weapon… that fires only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each pull of the trigger.
    “In a smooth bore (shot gun), there is no rifling”. A shotgun has a smooth bore.

    * An AR-15 COULD be considered a “rifle”, however, since 5845(a)(3) specified that the rifle had to be 16in or less, the AR-15 is still NOT legally considered a “rifle”. And since the AR-15 is not modified in any way, it does not fall under the definition of 5845(a)(4).

    * A machine gun [5845(a)(6)]
    An AR-15 is NOT a machine gun (read 5845(b)).

    * Any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18)

    921(a)(24) – The terms “firearm silencer” and “firearm muffler” mean…
    I need not go any further about “silencers”, because unless your gun matches any description of those that are “firearms”, then no matter what silencer you buy for it, IT IS NOT LEGALLY A SILENCER!

    * Any other weapon from subsection (e)
    [5845(e)] – The term “any other weapon” means any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive (explosive is defined as a grenade or other explosive device), a pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell (do any of you own a modified pistol or revolver which shoots a shotgun shell?), weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire (meaning, any weapon taken apart that can be put together and matches the above mentioned descriptions). Such term shall not include a pistol or revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition (so I guess you’re safe walking around with a rifle or shotgun or hanging them in your car).

    So there you have it folks. Bet you never knew that you were NOT carrying a “concealed weapon” nor that you never even owned a “fire arm”. So stop all this 2nd Amendment crap, it’s irrelevant! Bring up one of the above arguments [I do not nor have I ever owned a “firearm” as that term is defined in 26 USC 5845] and… you win!

    • binaryloop

      Very helpful info. Thanks for posting.

  • Jakob Stagg

    “Voluntary”? That is doublespeak for screwing the citizens again, and lying about it.