The Washington Times - February 12, 2013, 10:11AM

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley appears to have used his executive power to get the personal emails of citizens with hunting licenses in order to push gun control. The second-term Democrat is using the information in an attempt to divide gun owners to build support for his extremist legislation to abridge Second Amendment rights. 

Patrick Shomo, the president of the pro-gun rights organization Maryland Shall Issue, told me that O’Malley “appears to be tapping the state’s Department of Natural Resources database for hunting licenses.” 

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Hunters in Maryland received an email from their governor on Feb. 7 purportedly to make them aware of the about the Junior Waterfowl Hunting Day on Saturday. Quickly switching gears, he wrote: 

“I also want to take this opportunity to address you directly about the proposal we recently introduced to reduce gun violence. Our goal is to enact common sense proposals to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals, and to try to reduce the risk of a mass shooting like the  one that occurred in Newtown. Let me be clear: We are committed to protecting hunters and their traditions. That’s why we specifically carved out shotguns and rifles from the licensing requirements of our bill.”

That’s not exactly accurate. If a rifle has any of the cosmetic characteristics that Mr. O’Malley finds scary-looking, then it would be banned outright in the Free State. 

Mr. Shomo said that, “In O’Malley’s mind, he can push gun control all he wants as long as he can split off ‘the hunters’ from the rest of us. It’s not working.” He added that there were many hunters among the thousands who showed up to a pro-gun rights rally held in Annapolis last week held at the same time that the state senate was holding a hearing on the O’Malley legislation.  

“They are not fooled,” said Mr. Shomo. “They know that he is trying to split the herd for now, and hunters know better than any others what happens to those split from the herd.

Mr. O’Malley must realize his proposals are out of touch with Marylanders’ views. According to a survey by Susquehanna Polling and Research, voters disagree with the concept that “one’s choice of firearms for personal self-defense  should be limited only to those the government allows for hunting” by a 50-39 margin.

The poll released Feb. 6 also showed that 83 percent believe that you have a right to use a firearm to protect yourself and your family.