Maine Moms Demand Action, the organization that has been collecting signatures to place a citizen-initiated referendum on the November ballot to require criminal background checks on all gun sales in Maine, has announced that they have hit their goal and will be submitting their petitions to the office of the Secretary of State later today.
The initiative would require criminal background checks for all gun sales, including online, at gun shows, or through classified ads, with certain exceptions for family, hunting, and self-defense.
If more than 61,123 of the signatures, which the campaign has been collecting since October, are found to be valid, the measure will likely join several other initiatives on the General Election ballot. A proposal to implement ranked choice voting was certified in November and signatures for an initiative to raise Maine’s minimum wage (an effort I’m a part of) were submitted last week. They will likely be joined by a measure to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana use and one to increase taxes on the wealthy to fund K-12 education.
Other proposals, including one to amend Maine’s wind energy regulations, the Maine Republican Party initiative to eliminate the income tax and cut public assistance programs and a casino proposal for York County seem less likely to make the ballot, based on public reports, but any of them could see a final surge before the February 1st deadline. Those that don’t make the cut can continue collecting signatures for 18 months from the time they first registered and potentially make a later ballot.
Maine Moms Demand Action will hold a press conference at the State House Welcome Center later today featuring campaign volunteers, law enforcement officials and survivors of gun violence.