Want to read something chilling? Look at the following quote from the linked article. THIS is why we need your support here at Sportsman's Alliance of Maine for our firearms programs. It is not a matter of "IF" but 'WHEN" and we just saw what kind of damage a large, powerful, outside entity can cause here in our home. Check out this statement, check out the whole article, and please join SAM and/or make a much needed donation.
".......The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence — along with other advocacy groups — is evaluating which states among the 17 that allow ballot initiatives are the best spots to pick for the next fight; Maine, Arizona and Oregon, should their legislatures not take action, are widely viewed as the three with the most potential for gun control advocates........"
Follow this link to read about the coming assault in the NY Times: Here is the link
Please assist us in this battle by making a tax deductible contribution and consider joining our ranks. United We Stand!Jeff W. Zimba, Firearms Policy Specialist, Sportsmans Alliance of Maine
DONATION FOR GUN RIGHTS
You can send a check (please write SAM Firearms Program in the memo) to:
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Sign up here for SAMs Gun Legislation Alerts!
Here is a link to start things off with where our Executive Director, David Trahan lays out the reason for the Second Amendment and Maine’s Article 1, Section 16.
Does SAM Care about MY Guns?
The short answer is not only “yes” but “HELL YES!”
You may enjoy the following story about the founding of SAM. It may not be clear to those who do not belong, or even to those who have been a member in the past, but, the original mission of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine was to defend and protect firearm RIGHTS in Maine. Yes, you read that correctly. SAM was not founded to cover the broad base of issues we deal with today, but to specifically to protect the rights of hunters and gun owners.
In 1975, following a hit piece on guns and our hunting heritage on ABC News titled “The Guns of Autumn,” the original 7 founders of SAM, brought together their vision of a statewide organization to protect our guns and hunting heritage and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine was formed.
So, as you can see, SAM is not making a change, but going back to our roots. It was clear in the previous legislative session and holds true today, that our shooting and hunting rights are under fire and need constant attention.
Thanks to the massive groundswell of members and non-members who vocally opposed this latest tsunami of proposed restrictions, we joined forces opposing all new restrictions on law abiding gun owners, and even in this deeply divided legislature, were able to secure numerous victories.
We believe future generations of the citizens of the State of Maine deserve better than the status quo of being on the defensive in regards to fighting a continuous barrage of anti-gun proposals and feel it is time to get on the offensive. It is time to push back and regain ground. In order to stop the chipping away of our foundation and begin the necessary repairs we need strength in numbers and a unified voice. We need YOU to stand by our side and declare “We are not to be used as a political pawn to further an anti-gun agenda driven by emotion and void of all facts. Gun control must be replaced with criminal control and not further restricting those of us who already comply with the law.” We hope you will stand with us as we build our organization into the powerhouse our original founders envisioned.
Firearms Background Checks – Let’s Look CloseBy Jeff W. Zimba - Firearms Policy Specialist Report – July, 2014
This is an issue that keeps coming up and refuses to go away. My guess is that it is because it is the last thread of the enormous blanket of proposed gun control bills thrust over the nation that was almost completely defeated once the cries of “Act Now!” and “Move Fast!” were thwarted in favor of intelligent discussion and debate, and the FACTS were discussed, putting the raw emotion in check. Those who promised their constituents they would “do something” to control guns really have nothing to show for their efforts, and they have chosen this issue to cling to.
This scenario really is typical to the entire gun control issue as history has shown us repeatedly. Those who wish to destroy our firearms rights leap at any tragic opportunity, hoping to ride an emotional wave to victory, usually falling flat once some logic and common sense is interjected. This is why they always insist we “Move Now!” instead of allowing the conversation to mature, every time, without exception. When the issue is discussed in a logical manner, the result is predictable as facts and common sense will eventually rule the debate. So, while things are a little quitter, let’s look at background checks and analyze exactly what it is that keeps coming up for concerns.
On the surface, like most finely crafted proposals and plans, this debate is designed to appeal to many people not heavily educated on firearms, or at least seem “reasonable”. This keeps the opposition to a minimum and plays heavily into why the gun control advocates use the incremental approach against us. A quick peek at what has transpired over the last 25 years should be so obvious that a blind man can see it. If someone were to tell you 30 years ago that SEMI-automatic firearms, a design going back to the 1800’s and virtually unchanged today, would be vilified as though they are some kind of new, ultra-modern technology and must be heavily regulated, you would have laughed and called whoever said that a conspiracy-a kook. Yet look at the focus of the gun debate today. It is about SEMI-automatic firearms that LOOK LIKE military firearms, and they argue it with a straight face, either completely confused, or knowingly playing upon the ignorance of those who don’t know the difference.
Back to the issue at hand, expanded background checks. There are several weak points they argue and we’ll touch on the most obvious. First, EVERY firearm sale from a licensed firearms seller already undergoes a background check. It doesn’t matter if it is at their shop, a sale that starts on the internet or at a gun show, every sale to ANY unlicensed individual is going through this process. That takes care of the vast majority of firearms sales, obviously, so what could be expanded you ask? Private sales between private individuals. It seldom comes up in the anti-gun talking points, but they often point at internet and classified advertisements as an unregulated, international, gun bizarre like Khyber Pass, trying to instill fear in anyone within ear-shot. Too many people who hear their battle cry for action, it seems like a futuristic place uncovered in our antiquated land of time in our forgotten criminal code, however there is a flaw in their argument that is quite important. All sales where a firearm must be mailed or shipped, regardless of where the firearm was discovered or offered for sale, MUST be sent to a federally licensed firearms dealer for the transaction to be completed. Every sale, no exceptions. It doesn’t matter where a firearm is advertised, even in these days of this new-fangled internet that our seemingly outdated, dusty laws couldn’t imagine when the founding fathers put pen to paper, unless the sale is face-to-face the firearm MUST go through a dealer with a background check already. As you can see, another larger percentage of sales from the few gun sales left over originally, are already undergoing these checks. All we are left who would be affected by any new legislation are people buying a firearm, face to face, in person. Not such a large pool of uncovered transactions anymore, and certainly not the vast “problem” in search of this new “solution”, but it gets even smaller with a little more research. If you look in classified ads in the local papers or swap guides, when a firearm is being offered for sale locally, it is not unusual to see a seller wishing to utilize a licensed dealer to complete the transaction, and ask for identification if the buyer is unknown to them, so that makes the number even smaller.
As you can see, what we’re being sold as a “tidal wave” of transactions is starting to look more like a kiddie pool ripple. Even so, let’s get into the issue a bit deeper and identify a few problems with what is left.
The most obvious issue is that the people this check is supposed to “weed out” from the market are those who don’t tend to follow the law. This a major reason for calling for the checks. With that being the case, if for some reason a criminal decides to buy a firearm instead of steal one, and they decide to buy it through a legal source who will require a documents background check instead of a black market gun, there is nothing from stopping them from having a friend, spouse or acquaintance from submitting to the check in their place if they are not qualified. That’s the REAL problem that doesn’t get addressed, the law works fine if, and only if people voluntarily comply with it. Those purported to be the targets of the checks are those who do not volunteer to comply with the law, making it quite moot.
Another very significant issue with this “solution in search of a problem” is something that should be a great concern, given the track record of those in charge of the justice department at the present time. It creates a secondary paper trail of EVERY firearms transaction taking place. Since individuals have no way to conduct a check, even if it were mandated, every firearm would have to be recorded and transferred to the inventory of a licensed dealer with a new paper trail going back out. With the abuse of everything from our IRS, Veteran’s Services, NSA and even large Newspapers trying to make a statement by publishing personal information about legal Concealed Firearm Owners, an additional database of EVERY firearms transaction in the nation is not something people should be comfortable with. Remember, it will only include the LEGAL transactions, not those that are supposed to be of no concern. If local businesses are forced to assist the general public in completing private transactions, there will certainly be a fee associated with it as well. This amounts to another “tax” that people have no control over. It also creates a burden for people who are not in an area with a local licensed dealer. Instead of completing a neighborly transaction over a morning coffee between long-time friends, a special trip to a commercial business will become necessary.
On a local level, this legislation called for forcing individuals to take a course and/or test before being allowed to purchase a firearm. This is disturbing in itself, as it forces law abiding citizens to qualify for a RIGHT before they can exercise it. I can think of no other inalienable, God Given RIGHT that people must qualify for, before they may exercise it. Can you imagine the uproar if a test were to be mandated before you could exercise your First Amendment? What if you had to take a test before utilizing the Fifth Amendment? It would not, nor should not be acceptable to anyone.
So, let’s summarize these problems that have not been addressed, at least not publicly.
• Only those who follow the law will be affected.
• Every firearm sold will be in a database.
• People will be forced to travel to complete private deals.
• There will be a fee, even to make a trade amongst friends.
• Some will be wrongly denied exercising a RIGHT due to database mistakes.
• You may have to qualify to exercise a right.
As you can see, this is a complex issue and not a simple “fix” as we are being told. There are several areas of concern that are quite legitimate and need to be addressed. Please take the time to educate others before accepting things that sound “reasonable” when they come from places that have a track record of being unreasonable.
SAM’s First Annual Defender of Freedom Banquet
Our first annual Defender of Freedom Banquet was held May 10, 2014 at the Elks Club in Augusta. It was a fantastic event that I wish everyone reading these words could have attended. I was proud of the support, comrade, friendship and enthusiasm I witnessed that night. It was an opportunity to spend time with old friends and new friends we had yet to meet and the atmosphere was electric. There were several games to play for chances to win firearms, and numerous bucket raffles followed by a live auction. We had so many door prizes, I am not aware of anyone leaving without something. The banquet was attended by Governor LePage, Both Republican candidates for the 2nd District, numerous candidates for State races and several current and former Senators and Representatives. While it was a great time, it was not all fun and games though, and we outlined our intentions to defend and protect our firearms and hunting heritage in Maine. Our keynote speaker was The Honorable John Martin, of Eagle Lake and the topic was the creation of Article 1, Section 16 in the Maine Constitution: “Every Citizen Has the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and this Right Shall Never be Questioned.” Speaker Martin was directly involved in crafting this amendment and his talk was enlightening and educational. We also recognized numerous individuals who have fought, and continue to fight, for our freedom above and beyond most. It was our honor to present the following awards that night and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them again.
SAM Defender of Freedom - John Martin
For His Years of Hard Work
Defending and Protecting
Our Constitutional Right to
Keep and Bear Arms
SAM Defender of Freedom - Mike Lee
For His Years of Hard Work
Defending and Protecting
Our Constitutional Right to
Keep and Bear Arms
SAM Defender of Veterans - Bob & Andrea Howe
For Their Years of Hard Work
Defending and Protecting
Veterans of the Armed Services
SAM Defender of Veterans - Andy Williams
For His Years of Hard Work
Defending and Protecting
Veterans of the Armed Services
SAM Second Amendment Warrior - Aric Gott
For His Volunteer Work with SAM
Defending and Protecting
Our Constitutional Right to
Keep and Bear Arms
It’s OK to Celebrate a Hard Earned Victory,
By Jeff W. Zimba - Firearms Policy Specialist Report – April, 2014
but Never Become Complacent
As this issue of SAM News goes to print we are celebrating the Summer recess of the 126th Legislature. Summer vacation has a whole new meaning as adults compared to the dreams of kids looking forward to a long school break in the most magical time of the year but is no less important to me. Although I will still be working every day, it is indeed a vacation when the legislature is not in session.
The last few years have been rough as far as the assault we saw against law abiding gun owners. We fought against the Bangor Daily News trying to follow in the footsteps of their New York mentors trying to obtain a list of Concealed Firearms Permit holders under Maine’s version of the Freedom of Information Act. The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine led the charge on LD345 as a massive ground swell of support saw the passing of our proposed Emergency Legislation making Governor LePage’s temporary ban on disseminating this information, permanent. Now, CCW information is private and may NEVER be shared. Had we not risen to the occasion, we could have seen the names of law abiding gun owners published, and their addresses, which are available with photographs to anyone with Google Earth in the papers and on the Internet. This was a MAJOR victory for those of us who voluntarily comply with the law as criminals have no such information on file to publish.
Later in this session we had to fight a brutal battle against almost every aspect of firearms ownership ranging from limiting standard capacity feeding devices (dubbed incorrectly “High Capacity Magazines”) to banning certain firearms based on their cosmetic features. We are proud to say that with the help of a growing membership and other organizations, we defeated every assault on our rights thus far, for now.
We have faced similar attacks in the past, and won them all, only to be attacked in the following legislature, so because today’s fight is over, it doesn’t mean we are not still under attack. Rest well during this Summer break, but please don’t let your guard down.
Words Mean Things
Our State Constitution deals with firearms ownership in Article 1, Section 16; “Every Citizen Has the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and This Right Shall never Be Questioned”. This language is pretty simple and difficult to misinterpret but it seems to have very little bearing in the Legislature based on the annual assaults we are forced to endure. At The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine we deeply believe that most, if not all newly proposed gun bills are not going to be found legal in Maine at all. Why they are allowed to be introduced and be treated as legitimate in the first place is a mystery to us, given the simple language of Article 1, Section 16 and we are anxious to put an end to the perpetual attacks we face every session sooner than later. Does anyone really believe that a new law banning certain types of firearms styles, feeding devices and carry methods does NOT fall under the “….Shall NEVER Be Questioned…” language? We are tired of fighting a fight that is outside the realm of the legislature’s authority in the first place and are determined to put an end to it if our assumption is correct. At our first annual “SAM Defender of Freedom – Second Amendment Banquet” we introduced our newly formed “SAM Second Amendment Legal Defense Team” and we will be looking VERY close at any future legislation to see if it falls outside our very explicit State Constitution.
A Few Things to Ponder This Summer
While our State legislature is on recess, the machine from out of State that drives the anti-gun forces will remain very much in motion. We expect them to come back in the Fall with a few “New” ideas so you may want to watch for some of these buzz words as they plant the seeds they hope to sew when back in session.
“Smart Guns” are being pushed harder than they have in the past. In reality there is nothing “smart” about them. They operate on a signal from another device that permits the gun to be used when in a close enough proximity. We have a problem with these on several levels, but these are the most obvious. 1) They will only be used by law abiding citizens. When we have a system that completely counts on people voluntarily complying with the law in order for it to work, that leaves out the criminal element from the first step. If only those who already follow the law are affected by this expensive, complicated technology, it makes no sense to believe it will have an impact on crime. 2) Anything electronic has a much better chance to fail than something mechanical. Adding an additional step to using a firearm for self-defense will be deadly to those who need help the most. If a home owner is faced with a break in and must first find a special bracelet or ring to wear before having the ability to defend his home, life or family, it adds precious time when it is least available. If the batteries are not charged or if there is a signal blocking the device it could prove fatal to the owner. 3) Like any other electronic device it will certainly be traceable. Whether it is a criminal element or Big Brother that is the cause of concern, the concern is valid. There are many more reasons why these “Smart” devices are not so smart, but I think you get the point.
Another place we have identified as a potential for a fabricated problem in search of a predetermined solution is one most people overlook but is absolutely essential…. ammo. If the forces that wish to disarm us and cannot succeed by conventional means, heavily regulating ammo is a logical direction we understand they are discussing. As an opening salvo we expect them to target the components, primarily lead projectiles.
Recently there has been a lot of attention on lead and its purported effects on birds of prey. There have been a few examples of Eagles said to have fallen, partially due to a high lead count. We are as sympathetic to the restoration of our proud Eagle population as anyone, but we have doubts that recreational hunting is actually playing a lead role in this situation. The other aspect we expect the debate to take is human lead consumption. Again, it is unlikely a problem that rises to the level of doing anything as drastic as the “solutions” we expect to be forthcoming.
Hunters do not leave their fallen prey in the woods making any residual consumption by any type of animal or bird a rare event at best. Taking into account the number of “pass through” occurrences while hunting when added to this equation we believe this to be a non-starter without solid evidence. The majority of animals left for predators are put down by game wardens after accidents and in this case it is a simple remedy to utilize more expensive, non-lead projectiles such as frangible ammo for these rare cases, IF we find that this ammo is less problematic than the current ammo, which has been used for centuries without Congressional oversight. There are a lot of “If’s” there that must be examined before we jump to make any changes as it is.
What Price Do YOU Place on Freedom?
Is the price of a single box of ammo worth protecting and preserving or cherished firearms RIGHTS in Maine? That very question was posed of me this weekend at the Biddeford Gun Show as a gentleman pulled a $20 bill from his weathered wallet and exclaimed; " Well hell yes it is, sign me up! "
For only $20 when you join the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, you receive far more than a membership card and a few stickers. You also receive our information packed bimonthly newspaper, SAM News, access to our growing member benefit pool, a passionate legal defense team, and you own me.
Yup, when I provide a testimony fighting on behalf of our firearms freedom in Maine, you are standing beside me proclaiming "Law Abiding Gun Owners will no longer stand to be used as political fodder to advance the agenda of a tiny minority who refuse to understand that we are NOT the problem and we will NOT allow law breakers to continue to ignore ALL laws while we are forced to jump over a growing number of legal hurdles having no effect on their criminal behavior."
If they wish to address criminal behavior, over controlling those of us already complying has to stop. No more letting them off the hook by pretending to "do something" while doing nothing to actually address the problem. (Standing on one foot while humming the Star Spangled Banner is "doing something", but it's not doing something that will accomplish anything. See where I'm going? )
Law Abiding gun owners have been a scapegoat for far too long and time is changing.
So, if the cost of a box of bullets is the price to stand by my side and fight (as well as all the other benefits of joining SAM) there is nothing more I would like than to say "Welcome Aboard" and have you by my side. As a team we can't lose and I'm ready to start reclaiming lost ground. Can I count on you to help?
I appreciate everything you all do and can't wait to meet more of my fellow brothers and sisters in arms. Let's do this not only for us, but for future generations.
United We Stand!
United We Stand – And it’s time to stand TALL.By Jeff W. Zimba - Firearms Policy Specialist Report – Jan, 2014
We have all heard the phrase, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” It was stated by Ben Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and still remains true today.
As you flip through the pages of SAM News you will find that our liberty is under attack on numerous fronts, and there is no time in history when this was not the case. The usurping of rights from law abiding citizens is nothing new, and it is only the vigilance of a few very few vocal people that act as the line between a complete government “cradle to grave” nanny state and this beautiful experiment in freedom our forefathers drafted for us. Those of us who desire nothing more than living free, working very hard and passing our heritage down to future generations are in a constant battle to retain these inalienable rights and stop those who desire a different type of government, one with complete control on everything we say, everything we buy and even how we raise our children.
The last 20 years have brought about many changes. Things that seemed unbelievable and pure fantasy from George Orwell’s Futuristic Tales in his novel Nineteen Eighty Four, published in 1949, are now not only a reality, but socially acceptable. Phones being tapped. Electronic surveillance in every aspect of our lives. Political groups being targeted by the Federal Government based on their positions when they do not walk in lock step with the current administration. Executive Orders being handed down and treated with the rule of law. The banning of items based on aesthetic characteristics. The list goes on and on. We are thrown buzzwords like “Meta Data” and told not to worry because the information they collect will make us safer in a global war on terror that seems to have been distorted to encompass anything and everything desired. We must not stand silently by any longer while the future of our children is bartered away to pay old debts and to fund new debts that cannot be honored under anyone’s best calculations. Our freedoms, our heritage and our liberty was spelled out for us at too high a price to turn a blind eye any longer.
There is only so much we can do at a local level to have a positive effect, but we must do everything we can. Out of state groups have targeted Maine as “Low Hanging Fruit” where their massive financial contributions can purchase a LOT of influence in our papers and on our airwaves. We are being bombarded with falsehoods daily, as groups attempt to take our heritage away from us. One day it is hunting and regulating our wildlife. OUR Wildlife. People who have NEVER been in our State are pulling to determine how we must live, both financially and in matters of safety, with zero recourse or afterthought to them once their plan is in place. Other groups bring about far reaching, restrictive firearms legislation every session, using the same failed social experiment of disarming law abiding citizens while claiming it will somehow magically influence those who follow no laws. Neither is acceptable nor can be tolerated any longer.
The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine believes deeply that those who live, work, and raise families in Maine should have the final say on items as important as these. Whether it is a new gun ban targeting the firearm Du-Jour as determined by the national media, or the regulation of our wildlife as our residents and outdoor professionals deem appropriate, it must be those most affected by these proposals who have the final VETO in their implication.
Please join with so many Mainers and put or minor personal preferences aside while we band together and work in unison to retain our rights as free men and women. When those from away desire to ban one gun, please understand it is YOUR gun they are after. When they wish to stop the hunting or trapping of a particular species, you may or may not engage in, please understand it is YOUR hunting they are after. In both cases it may not seem as such on the surface, but history shows us they succeed by chipping away in incremental amounts and dividing the populace while promising there are no further steps or intentions in their actions. History proves otherwise.
If you are not a member of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, please stand at our side by joining and helping us to build our ranks to a point that cannot be ignored. If you are already a member, please encourage others to join and stand with us. The mission statement of SAM from our founding fathers clearly states that it is our duty to protect, preserve and defend hunting and firearms ownership in Maine, and that is exactly what we intend to do. The impact we can have is only decided by how many people feel as strongly as we do and decide to stand together, right now. We can unite like never before and set a course into the future that future generations can be proud of rather than to have them look back in history and ask why we allowed so many terrible things to happen on our watch.
An important note before I jump off the soapbox, SAM has the 1st Annual “SAM Defender of Freedom Second Amendment Banquet” coming up on May 10. You will find ticket information in this issue of SAM News. It will be an exciting time to learn about our new firearms programs as we move into the future and to help raise money for these efforts. It is May 10th, 2014 at the Elks Club in Augusta and tickets are $40.00 each or 2 for $70.00. For tickets, call Becky at (207) 623-4589.
Please stand strong and proud with the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine today to ensure a brighter tomorrow.Jeff W. Zimba, Firearms Policy Specialist, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine
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