Criminal Checks Now Possible in Private Gun Sales

ELLSWORTH — Maine residents who want to sell a gun privately can now find out whether the potential buyer has a criminal record.

Such a background check is required for any sale from a gun dealer, but private and gun show sales are exempt.

Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland reports that 38 of the state’s 550 federally licensed gun dealers are offering a service to complete background checks on potential buyers of firearms being sold by private individuals.

With this system, a seller gives temporary custody of his/her gun to a dealer, who then completes the background check on the potential buyer and returns the gun to the seller with the background information. Dealers may charge for the service.

In Hancock County, Dietrich Gunsmithy in Otis and George Turner in Franklin are offering the service.

A list of the gun dealers participating in the program is available on the state police and U.S. Attorney’s Web sites.

For more information and to see a list of participating federal firearms dealers, click here:

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