Sunday, January 20, 2013

0 Maryland treats gun owners terribly

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I am writing to express my sincere disappointment at how lawful gun owners are treated in this state. Ever year, it seems, we are subjected to increasingly draconian gun laws that are in direct conflict with the Second Amendment (which the Supreme Court has held to be an individual right for the law abiding to own and carry firearms for self defense). If I may quote a Supreme Court in Murdock v. Pennsylvania, "No State shall convert a liberty into a privilege, license it, and charge a fee therefore."

Once again we are seeing one of the most law abiding sections of society being burdened by gun-laws that have been proven time and time again to be completely ineffective at stopping crime. Regarding the 1994-2004 assault weapons ban, the Centers for Disease Control found "insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence."

The most hated gun in America by those who are against guns, the AR-15, is also the most commonly sold rifle in the United States. Out of the near 400 murders in Maryland in 2011, only 3 were committed using a rifle. I do not believe that any were committed with an AR-15 nor a with a large capacity magazine.

I would like to hear why it is necessary to limit me, a law abiding citizen, to a smaller capacity magazine when larger magazines are rarely ever used in crime, and would certainly not be used in crime by someone like me.

This brings me to my next major complaint. I have a completely clean mental and criminal background. I have never even been convicted of speeding. In order to apply for a Maryland handgun permit, I have been fingerprinted, interviewed by the State Police, submitted photographs, submitted mental health and medical information, and so on down the list. I even hold Designated Firearm Collector status with the Maryland State Police Firearms Enforcement Division. I also hold a federal firearms license. I have permits to carry a firearm in roughly 30 states.

Still, my permit to carry in this state has not been issued, even after a federal court has ruled the current application process to be unconstitutional. Does anyone in the state really think that preventing a law abiding person like me from being able to carry a firearm legally protects the people of Maryland? If carry-laws were a danger, then why have we not seen violence in any of the states that touch Maryland, all of which allow me to legally carry a concealed firearm?

Please, take a step back from the emotion and the rhetoric. Look at the history of gun laws in this nation. Look at the crime statistics. If you take an honest look at the facts, I assure you that you will soon come to treasure the Second Amendment as I am sure you treasure the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments.

James H. Mangle, Westminster

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