Cumberland Times-News

January 29, 2013

Consider the effect on law-abiding citizens


Cumberland Times-News

— As a voting constituent of Maryland, and a concerned citizen, I’m very worried about the proposed Firearm Safety Act of 2013 legislation concerning public safety.

I am in support of stronger background checks, increased funding for school security, increased funding for mental health care, and stiffer penalties for crimes committed using a gun, however I am not in favor of magazine capacity limits or bans on firearms for law abiding citizens.

The current laws do not prevent criminals from possessing guns, or using them in crimes, and as was pointed out in last weeks press conference, police are encountering known felons with guns when raiding their houses. The proposed Firearms Safety Act of 2013 will only serve to limit and make it more and more difficult for a law abiding citizen to exercise their rights.

Per FBI the most recent statistics, the number of people killed with a rifle of any kind in Maryland in 2011 was two. The number of murders committed with handgun, was 262. I don’t see how banning the semi-auto rifle, which almost all rifles are, will have a noticeable impact on murder rates. Source: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr...ables/

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Furthermore, Baltimore Police statistics show that in 2012, of the 217 homicides committed, 181 were with handguns, and only 2 were with rifles or shotguns combined. Of those 217 homicides, 79.1 percent were committed by people with known criminal records. 61.6 percent had a drug record, and 45.3 percent had been arrested for a previous gun violation.

Consider also, that 82.3 percent of the victims had a criminal record, with 68.4 percent of them having at least one drug arrest. Source: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/mar...88381481237582

The high numbers for crime involving guns that you see in Maryland are not coming from law abiding citizens or first time offenders. They are coming from those who have no respect for the law.

Those who repeatedly break the law, are forbidden from owning firearms, and do so anyway. This is the real problem. This is where the violence is coming from.

The laws proposed that limit magazine capacity, and ban law abiding citizens from buying rifles will do nothing to curb these numbers, as it is the repeat criminal offenders inflating the rates. It’s the gangs, and drug dealers that are killing innocents and each other that are the problem.

The problem is not the father who keeps a rifle locked in the closet for home security, or the single mother who works in a bad part of town, and applies for a concealed carry permit so that she has a better chance of going home safely to her children at night. The problem also isn’t the sportsman who competes in shooting matches with a semi-auto rifle.

Please share this with your readers so they can consider the effect that these laws will have on the good, law abiding people of Maryland, before law makers in Annapolis vote on the new gun control legislation.

They’re not taking guns out of the hands of criminals, or limiting the number of bullets in a criminals magazines, they’re limiting ours. The good. The trustworthy. Ensuring that if we ever have to defend ourselves, we will be at a disadvantage to those who ignore bans and limits.

I agree that one life saved is worth fighting for. That’s why I ask you share what I wrote with your readers so they to can oppose the proposed bans and limits. Help us save your and our own lives, too.

Laura Hounshell

Bowie