ME rejects background checks on private gun sales

An audience member holds a hand lettered sign calling for further gun control in Nashua N.H. on Oct. 16 2015

West, with The Maine Heritage Policy Center, says Nevada's culture and demography are quite different from her state.

In Nebraska, voters were deciding whether to reinstate the death penalty, which the Legislature repealed a year ago.

Nebraska was one of three states voting on capital punishment.

Voters in Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota approved measures allowing marijuana use for medical purposes.

In Montana, voters were deciding on whether to ease restrictions in an existing medical marijuana law. One would repeal the death penalty, which California has rarely used in recent decades.

Gun control was on the ballot in four states, including California, which already has some of the nation's toughest gun-related laws.

Nevada voters have approved a measure that aims to break up NV Energy's monopoly and open the electricity market to more competitors. Physician-assisted death is now legal in California, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

California approved a measure that outlaws possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, requires background checks for ammunition sales and strengthens a program that allows the state to remove firearms from people the state deems to be risky. The package of laws signed by Governor Jerry Brown (D.), among other things, reclassifies semi-automatic rifles as "assault weapons", forbids the loaning of firearms except in very narrow circumstances, requires the state attorney general to keep records of ammunition purchases, and bans the possession of magazines capable of holding more than ten cartridges.

During the campaign, opponents argued that the proposed law was poorly worded and unclear, and that it doesn't define what constitutes an established shooting range or what the "reasonable fee" for the new class of background checks would be.

California voters approved a ballot initiative calling for tougher gun control laws, while Nevada approved universal background checks and ME rejected a similar initiative.

If "yes" votes prevail across the board, more than 23 percent of the US population will live in states where recreational pot is legal.

Washington state had a ballot measure that would allow judges to issue orders temporarily seizing guns from individuals who are deemed a threat. Both contests were too close to call early Wednesday.

The background checks initiative, Question 1, has sparked the most debate between backers who say a legal loophole lets people skip background screening when buying guns from another person or online, and opponents who say it would cost law-abiding gun owners time and money without making them any safer.

Voters on Tuesday also weighed in on the minimum wage.

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