In his guest editorial published in this paper (Sept. 18), Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, makes a brazenly false assertion about Question 3, the measure that would extend the current background check law to all gun sales.

Martin claims that dropping off a gun at a repair shop would require a background check under the new law.

I’ll bet gunsmiths who read Martin’s assertion cringe – not because they fear Martin’s scenario, but because Martin gets the law wrong.

Gun repair shops are required to have federal firearms licenses, and under federal law, these licenses have specific exemptions from background check requirements when repairing guns. A longtime lawmaker like Martin should be more than able to correctly read Question 3, but his effort to confuse voters is in perfect keeping with the gun lobby’s continued campaign to defeat common-sense legislation that has widespread support. Question 3 does nothing to change the process of getting a gun repaired. Simply put, Martin is wrong.

When it comes to referendum questions, attempts to confuse voters are nothing new. In the case of expanded background checks, opponents have driven off the cliff of reason.

They’ve claimed it will prevent them from hiring a babysitter; they’ve claimed it will prevent them from giving a gun to their son or daughter; they’ve even claimed it will hamstring efforts to fight off ISIS.

All of these claims are farce. Martin’s example is just the latest.

Let’s talk about the facts. Eighteen states have already adopted expanded background checks similar to what Maine voters will consider this November.

Of all the wild sky-is-falling scenarios opponents have concocted, the truth is that background checks are stopping dangerous people from getting guns without causing law-abiding citizens trouble.

Like other firearm enthusiasts, I’m quite familiar with the current background check system that has been in place since 1998. It has worked relatively well and has prevented more than 5,500 gun sales to dangerous people in Maine – felons, domestic-violence perpetrators and the severely mentally ill.

Unfortunately, a blind spot exists in the system. The same dangerous person who fails the check at L.L. Bean or at the gun shop can walk out, find a gun for sale online or in the classifieds and buy it with no background check and no questions asked.

Question 3 will close that loophole.

Background checks work. They are the most effective way to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on guns.