Ban smaller guns and get more deaths

September 23, 1997

In your editorial ''Fewer homicides, but why?'', (Sept. 16), the comment was made: ''. . . the use of higher-powered guns may have increased.'' This has been our association's position since the ''Saturday Night Special'' law was passed in 1988.

We have always held that banning small-caliber handguns would lead to the use of more powerful firearms by criminals in the commission of crimes. The state of South Carolina found this out when it passed a similar law years before Maryland.

The proponents of that law falsely claimed that criminals would not upgrade to more powerful firearms; that they would cease criminal actions if small-caliber pistols were not available. That has not happened.

After 10 years it has become evident that criminals will use whatever means are available to them. In fact, that law may have led to increased rates of death due to trauma caused by the criminal use of higher-powered firearms.

This is another anti-gun law that has actually caused more harm than good.

Sanford M. Abrams

Owings Mills

The writer is vice president of the Maryland Licensed Firearms Dealers Association, Inc.

Pub Date: 9/23/97

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