Maryland's tight gun laws have not reduced crime

April 06, 2011

According to a recent filing by Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, in response to the pending case Woolard vs. Sheridan, pertaining to Marylanders' Second Amendment rights, he points to the high handgun violence and murder rate in Baltimore as logical and sound reasoning for denying the rest of Maryland their right to carry a concealed firearm for their personal protection. He further contends that the state is not denying our rights, since all Marylanders can legally open carry a long gun (rifle), and that the state is just merely making Maryland safer by denying Marylanders the right to carry concealed handguns. Finally, he states that we are not being denied our Second Amendment rights because we can carry concealed in our homes and also on our property.

In response to the attorney general, I ask the following:

How is it that Baltimore's murder rate hasn't dropped by denying the rest of Maryland the right to carry a firearm for their personal protection? In fact, no matter how much they put the pressure on the law abiding gun owners in Maryland, criminals continue to illegally acquire, carry and use firearms to murder one another in the city. In essence, I don't think his logic is working, as evidenced by the increase in gun laws and the increase in violent crime. In fact, if one looked at the statistics, they would clearly see that as gun laws have been tightened, the murder rate in Baltimore continues to climb.

Also, how long am I expected to remain free, or even alive, if I were to carry (legally, according to the attorney general) a loaded automatic assault weapon (long gun) downtown Annapolis? It goes without saying, at a minimum, my firearm would be confiscated by the state and would never be returned.

Finally, if I can walk out into the street, and exercise my right to freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and religious freedom, why does my right to bear arms have to be limited to my home or my property? All of my rights should go where I go, should they not?

Jerry R. Roope, Perryville

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