- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine residents aren’t ready to sign on to stricter gun control regulations.

Voters in the state rejected a ballot question that would have created new requirements for background checks for people who buy firearms in the state.

The new law would have required the background checks before the sale or transfer of firearms between people who are not licensed as firearms dealers. Failure to do so would have been punishable by law. Some exceptions included family members and weapons used for hunting, self-defense, lawful competitions and shooting range activities.

Opponents contended the background checks were an unnecessary restriction bankrolled by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. His nonprofit donated millions to the drive.

Proponents said the change would have closed a loophole in state gun laws.

The National Rifle Association of America campaigned against the law.

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