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Here are 2016’s State-Level Gun Control Ballot Initiatives

by BA Staff |  |  Published on November 1, 2016

Voters in four states will be making another big decision on November 8: whether or not to enact stricter gun laws.

Unlike past elections, there are no statewide initiatives aimed at expanding gun rights this year. Instead, those in Maine, California, Washington and Nevada will be voting on tighter gun control measures. Here is what you should expect to see on the ballot in each of the four states.


According to PBS, the last time voters in Maine were asked about gun rights (1987), they passed a constitutional amendment establishing a right to bear arms that “shall never be questioned.”

Well, that right is being questioned on this year’s ballot. What is being referenced as “Question 3” will asks voters whether background checks should be required for private sales—sales between parties who are not licensed dealers.

If neither the seller nor the buyer is a licensed dealer, then they must go to a licensed dealer who would then run a background check before the sale is made. Because the measure also references “transfers,” background checks would be required when loaning guns, as well. Exceptions would include emergency self-defense, temporary transfers while hunting or sports shooting and transfers between family members.

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