PORTLAND – There is controversy over a gun law proposal. Some activists want voters to decide if background checks should be required for all gun sales in the state.
It’s a cause Judy and Wayne Richardson support strongly.
“Our daughter was shot in 2010 so we’re here for her, but we’re here to also hopefully save lives.” Judy Richardson, Mother of Darien Richardson
Police say Darien Richardson was shot by an intruder in her apartment. She died a month later from a blood clot as a result of a gunshot wound.
“Her life was cut short at 25-years-old. It should have never have happened.” Wayne Richardson, Father of Darien Richardson
Police say they found the gun involved after a different deadly shooting. But her case is still unsolved.
“In part because the gun was traced to a private sale and no background check was done so the trail for the gun stops there.” Judy Richardson, Mother of Darien Richardson
They want criminal background required for all gun sales. Not just ones through licensed sellers. They’re teaming up with Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense to push for stricter laws.
Organizers say this initiative has a lot of support, but there are plenty of other people and groups that say they’re against it.
“This is not a universal background check initiative at all. What it truly is, is, a ban on private sales of firearms.” Todd Tolhurst, Gun Owners of Maine. The president of gun owners of Maine feels this wouldn’t make a difference in Darien’s case. He argues criminals can avoid background checks by having friends buy guns which is hard to enforce.
“We would rather have seen that their daughter never died in the first place. We would’ve liked to have seen that she like so many women had the opportunity to protect herself.” Todd Tolhurst, Gun Owners of Maine
The Richardsons feel differently so they and other activists are gathering signatures. If they get about 60,000 valid ones by the end of January this could be an issue you get to vote on next year.
Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense says about 80 percent of Mainers support this type of legislation. The Group Gun Owners of Maine says that number isn’t accurate.