PORTLAND – Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, a coalition of moms, law enforcement officials, gun violence survivors and gun owners, today announced that it has made two key hires to lead the November initiative to require criminal background checks on all gun sales.
David Farmer will serve as campaign manager and Bobby Reynolds will serve as deputy campaign manager.
“Maine Moms Demand Action is already working hard to bring together Mainers from across the state to pass this common-sense safety measure,” Farmer said. “We are committed to working with Mainers of every political party, gun owners and non-owners alike, to bring criminal background checks for all gun sales to Maine. A broad coalition of supporters and volunteers helped to collect 85,436 signatures to place the question on the ballot and that coalition continues to grow by the day.”
In preparation for November, Maine Moms Demand Action has been working closely with more than 250 active volunteers and has opened campaign offices in Bangor, Ellsworth and Falmouth.
The Maine Background Check Initiative, which is supported by 80 percent of Maine voters, would require criminal background checks for all gun sales in the state, with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting and self-defense.
Under current law, background checks are only required for gun sales conducted by licensed dealers. But people can easily and anonymously buy guns from unlicensed sellers – often from strangers met online, at gun shows or through classified ads – with no background check required, no questions asked. The initiative closes this loophole, requiring that everyone in Maine who buys a gun gets the same criminal background check, no matter where they buy it or who they buy it from.
Last month, Maine Moms, gun violence survivors, law enforcement, sportsmen and others submitted a total of 85,436 signatures, far more than the 61,123 required to qualify the initiative for the ballot. Voters from every county and all 503
Maine cities and towns signed the petition, and nearly one-third of the total number of signatures were collected in the 2nd Congressional District, demonstrating strong support for the measure throughout the state.
Joining the Maine Moms Demand Action team this month are:
David Farmer is a Portland resident and political strategist who has worked on numerous state, local and advocacy efforts. Farmer is a former deputy chief of staff and communications director for Maine Governor John E. Baldacci. In those roles, he led the governor’s policy and communications effort, directed communications for all cabinet-level agencies, and served as a senior policy and political adviser.
Farmer also has 17 years of experience as an award-winning journalist. He is a columnist for the Bangor Daily News, a former editorial page editor and a reporter for the Lewiston Sun Journal.
Farmer is a father of two and a gun owner.
Bobby Reynolds brings a wide range of experience to the campaign. He served four years in the United States Navy and another eight years as a Merchant Marine. Following his sea duty, Reynolds became a professional firefighter for the city of Portland. His 20-year career there included three terms as the president of Local 740 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, where he was a tireless advocate for first responders.
After studying political science at the University of Southern Maine, Reynolds joined the 2008 Collins for Senator Campaign as director of coalitions. Thereafter, he joined the senator’s staff as her special assistant for military and homeland security issues. During his time on the Collins staff, Reynolds served as her state office representative as well as the Collins’ political director in 2014.
Reynolds has three grown children – two sons and a daughter – and lives with his wife, Andrea, and his stepson in Manchester. Reynolds is an avid outdoorsman who loves to hunt and fish.