With 2,000 bills on the calendar in this session I knew it wouldn’t take much searching to find some absurd ones meeting these criteria: one, unenforceable; two, doubtful constitutionality; and three, alien to Maine’s rural character.
Sen. Nancy Sullivan (D – York) has introduced LD 985, an act requiring any private sale or loan of a firearm to go through an FFL (Federal Firearms Licensed) dealer. This means that if you want to sell your private property, or loan a hunting rifle to your neighbor, LD 985 would now require you to go find an FFL dealer to facilitate the sale or loan. I guess at the end of the season you would have to reverse the loan just to get your rifle back.
Recent Supreme Court decisions seem clear in their incorporating the second amendment and holding that the people have the right to bear arms. LD 985 flies in the face of this court’s recent decisions, making it of doubtful unconstitutionality.
It is also unenforceable. How many people loan rifles to neighbors to use during hunting season or to remove some rodent eating their gardens? People would, like whenever unenforceable laws are passed, just go about business as usual and go from law-abiding citizens to law breakers. Like most laws based on faulty logic, the unintended consequences will have opposite effect of the intent.
This proposed law also does not strike to the heart of the problem which is how weapons are ending up in the hands of criminals. One thing is certain, the same people who are obtaining guns outside the law will not follow this method to obtain them and as a result the law abiding are punished and the criminals remain untouched.
Finally, this LD does not take into consideration the character of rural Maine and its outdoors traditions. We live in a mostly rural state that has a history of hunting and shooting sports. This bill would adversely affect and alter that tradition that many of us hold dear.
The good news is that there seems to be little support for LD 985. Senator Sullivan could only find one co-sponsor, but even so, call your legislator and let him or her know your thoughts.