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We Can Reduce Gun Violence Without Infringing on Law Abiding Gun Owners’ Rights

By Stacy Mayer, Chief Legislative Officer

Gun safety experts, as well as most Marylanders, agree that these are common sense steps we can take to keep families safe and reduce gun violence in Maryland. Nevertheless, there are some, including gun manufacturers, who will oppose any and all efforts to put safety measures in place. They will use scare tactics and misinformation in order to stir up fear and generate opposition to the Governor’s initiatives.

Let me set the record straight:

(1)  Our Gun Safety Proposals Are Not Aimed At Hunters and Sportsmen. The Governor understands and respects the traditions of hunters and sportsmen in Maryland. That’s why we explicitly carve out shotguns and rifles from the licensing requirements of our bill.

(2)  Our Gun Safety Proposals Would Not Ban Handguns. The bill would not prevent law-abiding Marylanders who want to purchase a handgun to protect themselves or their families from doing so. Our goal is to prevent criminals from getting guns by using straw purchasers, so the bill creates certain licensing requirements for purchasing a handgun. But law-abiding citizens would still be permitted to purchase and own handguns.

(3)  Our Gun Safety Proposals Are Consistent with the Constitution. Maryland’s Attorney General analyzed the proposals and determined that they are “constitutional under the Second Amendment,” that “law-abiding gun owners have nothing to fear,” and that our proposals “do not allow for confiscation of guns nor could they” under Supreme Court precedent.http://www.oag.state.md.us/Press/2013/012913.html

The lobbyists for the gun manufacturers want to preserve the status quo and block even common sense gun safety measures. They will spread falsehoods in order to create unwarranted fear. Know the facts: the licensing requirements don’t affect shotguns and rifles, we don’t ban handguns, and the proposals are consistent with the Constitution.

For more information on the bill, click here: http://governor.maryland.gov/publicsafetypackage.pdf

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