Data — and voters — support handgun licensing [Letter]

(David Horsey/L.A. Times )
July 17, 2014

In disputing Vincent DeMarco's letter ("Tougher gun laws are helping reduce homicides in Baltimore," July 5) about the positive impact of Maryland's Firearms Safety Act of 2013 in reducing gun violence, Michael Peterson ("Gun control isn't the reason for declining Baltimore homicides," July 11) ignores the data Mr. DeMarco included in his letter from Professor Daniel Webster of the Johns Hopkins Center For Gun Policy and Research showing that other states that have enacted fingerprint licensing of handgun purchasers tend to have lower gun death rates than similar states.

This data strongly support Mr. DeMarco's contention that the enactment of fingerprint licensing in Maryland last year has helped to cause the 24 percent drop in gun deaths in first part of 2014. This drop happened despite the fact that over the same time period between 2012 and 2013 gun deaths in Maryland went up from 140 to 147.

Plainly, this common sense measure, which is supported by 68 percent of Maryland gun owners, according to an independent poll conducted by Goucher College, is working to keep guns out of the wrong hands and to save lives.

That is why the faith community of Maryland worked hard to enact this law and why we will work hard to urge our colleagues in other states to get this same kind of law enacted everywhere in our country.

Rev. Frederick Weimert, Baltimore

The writer is president of the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council.

To respond to this letter, send an email to Please include your name and contact information.
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