Gun control resolution on council agenda tonight

January 10, 1994|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff Writer

Annapolis Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins, who still owns a handgun he purchased on Compromise Street 40 years ago, says it's too easy to acquire guns.

He and Democratic Aldermen Carl O. Snowden of Ward 5 and Shep Tullier of Ward 4 are sponsoring a resolution at tonight's City Council meeting to call on state lawmakers to ban assault weapons and make it more difficult to obtain handguns.

"Too many people are being cut down in the prime of their lives," said Mr. Snowden.

Their appeal follows the fatal shooting of two Annapolis residents in Washington, D.C., within the past two weeks.

D.C. police officer Jason White, 25, was killed Dec. 30 after he and his partner stopped a motorist in Southeast Washington.

Two days later, Delano Allsup, 23, was the district's first fatal shooting of 1994. A D.C. police spokesman said Mr. Allsup was killed by police officers just after midnight when officers heard gunshots, saw a man armed with a handgun, and one officer fired, hitting Mr. Allsup.

The spokesman, Officer Robert Garisto, said police are investigating Mr. Allsup's death.

During the past year, 152 Annapolis residents were robbed, threatened or shot by someone armed with a handgun, according to the proposed resolution.

One problem is that it is too easy to get handguns, said Mr. Hopkins, who purchased his handgun after someone tried breaking into his home 40 years ago.

"I went down to Compromise Street, paid cash and walked out with a gun," he recalled. "It shouldn't be that easy. Those of us who want one to protect our families and property . . . will have to sacrifice."

The resolution also urges city residents to support the Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse Rally, scheduled for Jan. 17 to coincide with the birthday anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Also tonight, Mr. Hopkins is to ask the council to approve a new slate of committee assignments. The mayor proposed a slate in December but the council rejected his nominations, 5-4, complaining that he had failed to consult them.

The mayor proposed a whole new slate Dec. 30. Mr. Hopkins said Friday that he is revising that list because of John Hammond's resignation from the council.

Mr. Hammond resigned last week to accept a position in county government.

"In all my years, I've never seen so much attention given to committee assignments," said the mayor, who joined the council in 1963. "I'm not playing politics when I make these nominations. If they don't accept my nominations, I don't want any trouble. I'll ,, just leave the committee assignments the way they are now for the next four years."

That probably would make several veteran aldermen jockeying for chairmanship of the six standing committees unhappy.

"You know, my wife and I raised five children, and we learned you can't make all of them happy," Mr. Hopkins said. "Well, here I've got eight aldermen. I can't make all of them happy."

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