Maryland "Gun Safety" Law = Gun Ban
by
Larry Pratt

Poor Casper R. Taylor, Jr., the Democratic House Speaker in the Maryland Legislature. Obviously a slow-learner, he just doesn't get it. He just doesn't understand how the anti-Second Amendment gun-grabbers work. But, maybe, he's a little wiser today. Let's hope so.

According to an Associated Press story in the Washington Times newspaper (12/28/2000), Taylor, "fearing that the state's gun-safety bill has turned into a ban on handgun sales," has written a letter to Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran asking him "to move quickly to clear up confusion about the law that took effect three months ago."

One section of the law in question prohibits handguns from being sold in Maryland unless the manufacturer includes a shell casing fired from the gun. Casings are then turned over to Maryland State Police where their "ballistic fingerprints" are entered into a computer data base.

This law was a major part of Governor Parris N. Glendening's legislative package during the 2000 session. When President Clinton himself came to Maryland to see this measure signed into law, he urged other states to follow Maryland's lead and enact similar laws.

But -- surprise! -- there's been a problem because of this law. Taylor says gun dealers tell him that manufacturers are not shipping weapons with casings into Maryland. Thus, they are running out of guns to sell. So, Taylor has written to Attorney General Curran saying, in part:

"I am frustrated by the lack of a definitive, written answer to a number of questions posed by gun dealers from around the state.... In good faith, many members of the General Assembly voted for this measure as a strong gun safety bill, and they, as well as I, were assured that it would not result in an outright ban on handguns."

Taylor adds that if this law had been seen as a handgun ban, it would not have passed. In an interview with the AP, he says: "The spirit of the law, as I voted for it and as many of my colleagues voted for it, was to gain gun safety, but not to gain a gun ban."

Well, now. Earth to House Speaker Taylor: Wake up, please!

First, when dealing with rabidly anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment people like Governor Glendening and Attorney General Curran, there's no such thing as "good faith." Forget it. Secondly, the precise purpose, goal and/or effect of all such "gun safety" laws is to, ultimately, de facto, ban the possession of all firearms by private citizens.

And to expect Attorney General J. Joseph Curran to answer your questions, and be concerned about the impact of the law in question, is absurd.

Of all the public officials in the United States, Curran is one of the most vehement enemies of the Second Amendment and of private individual gun-owners -- as he made crystal clear, at length, in an October, 1999, report titled "A Farewell To Arms: The Solution To Gun Violence In America."

For example, on page 10 of his wretched report -- verbally foaming at the mouth and seething with hatred toward private persons who own guns -- Curran says that "owning and carrying handguns" must be stigmatized so that this Constitutionally-protected right is "seen as dangerous and aberrant behavior." One definition of the word "aberrant" is, of course, mentally unbalanced.

So, Curran is saying, not so subtly, that he looks forward to a time when people who own and carry handguns are seen as crazy, as nuts.

On page 63 of this report, Curran says: "Our goal, then, must be to eliminate widespread handgun ownership through restrictive handgun licensing."

But, it is Curran's views about guns which are nutty. In an interview in February of 2000, Curran told how his daughter had been car-jacked in the early 1990s by a man with a handgun. He also spoke about how his father had been shot at in Baltimore's City Hall and later died of a heart attack.

When asked if there was any gun-control law which would have prevented these crimes?, Curran replied: "If there had been some -- in other words, if the manufacturer, when they made these things, then have some understanding about how they would be distributed and what type of dealers they're going to go to, what criteria dealers use -- rather than just because these guns are made -I don't think manufacturers can say, 'Well, I made them and I gave them to a distributor and what they do thereafter is their business.' I think that's nonsense."

But, what's nonsense is what Curran suggests. Seriously, how, exactly, would his proposal work in real life? -- for example, in the two personal crimes he mentions. Before a gun manufacturer sells a gun to a dealer should the dealer be required by law to pledge that these guns will be sold to no carjackers?, that these guns will be sold to no one who will use them to shoot up Baltimore's City Hall? Please.

In the previously mentioned Associated Press story it is said that Attorney General Curran says he is "not aware of any problem" with the "gun safety" bill which has resulted in a de facto ban on handgun sales in Maryland. But, of course, for Curran, there is no "problem" -- because he's for a ban on selling handguns to private individuals!!

Maryland House Speaker Taylor says that if the problem with this "gun safety" bill is not cleared up quickly, he will support legislation at the 2001 General Assembly session to amend the law so dealers can acquire and sell handguns. Well, terrific. Great.

But, Taylor and those who favored it, should have never voted for this dangerously stupid law in the first place. It should be repealed, not amended.