Activists pushing to expand background checks for Maine firearm purchasers gathered enough signatures to force a ballot referendum on the issue this November, the secretary of state’s office confirmed Thursday to the Bangor Daily News. Groups pushing the ballot initiative submitted over 84,000 signatures, 65,821 of which were validated, putting them over the minimum threshold of 61,123 signatures needed.
The initiative, pushed chiefly by the Maine affiliate of Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group Moms Demand Action, would require all firearms sales, even in-state sales by private individuals from their personal collections, to be conducted through licensed dealers who, in turn, are required to conduct NICS background checks on all purchasers.
Now that its backers have gathered enough signatures, the proposal will go to the Maine legislature. There, like most such initiatives, it will likely languish until November, at which time it will go directly to voters as a ballot question.