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 percent." 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.