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.
ProGunProgressive.com 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.