The best way to defeat gun control legislation in Annapolis is to elect more "sensible people," a state guns rights advocate said last night.
Bob McMurray, vice president of the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association in Silver Spring, urged Carroll residents to work to throw gun control supporters out of office.
"We can't change their mind. So what we have to do is change their job," he said.
Mr. McMurray spoke to about 45 people last night at a meeting of the Tri-District Republican Club at the Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Finksburg. The topic of his talk was, "Is Gun Control Really Crime Control?"
"How much crime have you got in Carroll County? It doesn't smell like that much," he said.
County residents still feel they can run out to the 7-Eleven to buy toilet paper at 11 p.m., Mr. McMurray said.
"Where is the crime? Inner-city Baltimore. Who commits it? Drug dealers. Who are the victims? Other drug dealers.
"I'm not entirely sure we care if drug dealers are shooting other drug dealers," he said.
Mr. McMurray said he has been lobbying for guns rights in Annapolis for six years. He was there yesterday when the Senate voted 29-18 to approve a bill to ban the sale of most assault pistols. The bill now goes to the House Judiciary Committee for debate.
The legislation would ban the sale or transfer of 18 kinds of semiautomatic pistols and would require residents who own assault pistols to register them with Maryland State Police by Aug. 1. Residents who do not register the weapons could face up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The bill also would prohibit the purchase of high-capacity ammunition magazines with more than 20 rounds and would add 21 kinds of assault-style weapons to a list of firearms that require a seven-day waiting period and a background check.
Mr. McMurray said the guns banned by the legislation are not the guns that are killing people. "People are being killed with ordinary, run-of-the-mill, standard handguns," he said.
C. D. "Hap" Baker Jr. of Hampstead, treasurer of the Carroll County Sportsmen's Association and an outspoken guns-rights advocate, said the legislation is "a weapons-regulation bill."
Mr. Baker also was lobbying in Annapolis yesterday. He wore a blue button on his lapel that says, "Politically incorrect and proud of it."
He is waging a national "civil disobedience" campaign in which he is asking people not to register their guns.