Maryland Sportsmen Up In Arms Over Proposed Gun Ban

Jan 23, 2007, 00:00 ET from Maryland Shall Issue, Inc.

    ANNAPOLIS, Md., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mere hours after the
 Assault Weapons Ban legislation was introduced, concerned sportsmen were
 calling and emailing their state Senators in protest. Approximately half of
 the homes in Maryland have at least one firearm, and almost every gun owner
 in the state would be affected by the retroactive legislation. Maryland
 already has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, and the
 highest favorable rating from the Brady organization. However, possibly
 because of those restrictions, Maryland has the highest robbery rate in the
 nation and is now tied for the highest murder rate.
     Since 1991, 23 additional states loosened restrictions on the concealed
 carrying of guns by law-abiding citizens, bringing the total 'shall-issue'
 states to 40. These states have all experienced a drop in violent crime,
 while over the same time period Maryland's violent crime increased.
 Historian Benedict LaRosa noted the same effect in D.C.: "In 1976,
 Washington, D.C., instituted one of the strictest gun-control laws in the
 country. The murder rate since that time has risen 134 percent (77.8 per
 100,000 population) while the overall rate for the country has declined 2
     Recently, two large federally-funded studies could find no benefit from
 any of the gun control laws, including previous federal and state assault
 weapons bans. Even the Maryland State Police testified against Assault
 Weapons Ban legislation.
     According to Senate Bill 43, introduced last Wednesday by freshman
 Senator Mike Lenett, an "assault weapon" is simply a semi-automatic firearm
 (not a fully automatic machine gun) that has some scary-looking cosmetic
 features such as a folding stock; a bayonet mounting lug; a thumbhole
 stock; etc. It is not caliber, ballistics or function that defines an
 "assault long gun" but simply appearance. If passed, the legislation would
 also ban some shotguns and nearly all pistols, except possibly revolvers. blogger Sebastian Sassi says, "If anything, 'assault
 weapons' are under-represented in violent crime" noting that according to
 the FBI's Uniform Crime Report data more people are killed with knives, or
 baseball bats, or simply with fists and feet than with rifles, let alone
 specific "assault weapons."
     The rifles that would be banned by the legislation are used for hunting
 and for marksman competition sports such as the popular NRA High Power, and
 the Civilian Marksmanship Program. The CMP was created by the U.S. Congress
 in 1916 for the purpose of providing civilians an opportunity to learn and
 practice marksmanship skills so they would be skilled marksmen if later
 called on to serve the U.S. military.
     Liberal legal scholar, Professor Alan Dershowitz said, those " ... who
 are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming
 it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a public safety
 hazard, don't see the danger in the big picture. They're courting disaster
 by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the
 Constitution they don't like."
     In total contrast to the currently proposed Assault Weapons Ban,
 Maryland legislation passed in 1642 decreed: "Noe man able to bear arms to
 goe to church or to Chapell or any considerable distance from home without
 fixed gunn and 1 Charge at least of powder and Shott." The murder rate and
 danger to citizens on the street in Maryland now is far worse than it was
 when all citizens were required by law to have and carry guns.
     Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. is an all volunteer, non-partisan effort
 dedicated to the preservation and advancement of all gun owners rights in
 Maryland, with a primary goal of CCW reform to allow all law-abiding
 citizens the right to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense; and to the
 education of the community to the awareness that 'shall issue' laws have,
 in all cases, resulted in decreased rates of violent crime.

SOURCE Maryland Shall Issue, Inc.