- The Washington Times - Friday, February 12, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The gun grabbers are at it again in Maryland. Next month, the state’s House Judiciary Committee will initiate hearings on legislation forcing firearms enthusiasts to register with the state government before they can exercise their Second Amendment rights.

The plan, drafted by Delegate Samuel I. Rosenberg, Baltimore Democrat, and Sen. Brian E. Frosh, Montgomery County Democrat, would mandate that citizens carry a special license while conducting any number of routine transactions involving a gun.

To obtain a gun license, a person must fill out a long application form, attend a comprehensive firearms safety course, pay a nonrefundable fee to the state and wait 30 days for the completion of a criminal background check. If all items are processed properly, the Maryland State Police would drop the license in the mail.

It would become a crime to go to a gun range and rent a firearm for a little target shooting without this license in hand. Out-of-state visitors who might want to keep up their skills while on vacation would be out of luck under the proposal because they would not even be allowed to apply for a state gun license.

The bill would make it a crime on par with murder, kidnapping, rape and extortion for a private party to sell his own gun to someone who has no license. It also would give police the authority to seize the e-mail, cell phone and other records of anyone merely suspected of selling or renting a gun in Maryland without a license. This is an extreme reaction to conduct that is perfectly legal in most states and should be a constitutional right anywhere in the Land of the Free.

It’s obvious that Mr. Rosenberg and Mr. Frosh are not really interested in stopping criminals from obtaining weapons. Instead, this misguided proposal plainly is designed to harass legitimate gun owners with bureaucracy and paperwork until they simply give up on the idea of exercising their legal rights. Readers should let the measure’s proponents know what they think. Mr. Frosh is available at 301/ 858-3102, brian.frosh@senate.state.md.us, and Mr. Rosenberg can be reached at 301/858-3179, samuel.rosenberg@ house.state.md.us.

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