Gov. Paul LePage has come out swinging against all of the referendum issues that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. Furthermore, he declared that Questions 1, 3 and 5 were unconstitutional. He went on to say that Question 3, concerning universal background checks, would also create a gun registry.

Just where in the wording of the measure is there a description of a registry? Federal law prohibits the establishment of such a registry, anyway.

As for the greater issue of constitutionality, the late Supreme Court Justice Scalia wrote in the 2008 Heller decision (which upheld the right of private citizens, not just the militia, to own guns) that the right was not absolute or unconditional. The First Amendment has been interpreted through the past 200 years to be subject to reasonable limitations, and no other amendment is immune to the same process. So just how is the requirement for more thorough background checks unconstitutional?

About 60 percent of gun purchasers and owners in Maine have undergone a background check by federally licensed dealers. During these days when the phrase “law and order” has been revived, why should 40 percent of gun sales go unchecked, allowing felons and domestic abusers and drug dealers unfettered access to firearms?

Edward Walworth, Lewiston

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