- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 2, 2002

Maryland's new law requiring prospective handgun buyers to sit through a two-hour video ostensibly about "gun safety" before they may take possession of their firearms is all about hassling would-be gun buyers not curbing crime or reducing the number of accidental deaths and injuries involving guns.
The new law took effect yesterday and is merely the latest impediment ginned-up by anti-gun lawmakers in Maryland a state notorious for making life difficult for everyone but criminals. Already on the books, for example, is a requirement that all handgun buyers also purchase a gun lock along with each weapon they buy. The new law merely adds to the existing roadblocks by making it an ordeal for an honest, law-abiding citizen to obtain a firearm. The obvious hope is that fewer honest, law-abiding people will possess guns notwithstanding their constitutional rights and the fact that such busy-body edicts as Maryland's gun-safety-video requirement do absolutely nothing to counteract criminal activity. "It is one of the most meaningless bits of legislation ever passed by the Maryland legislature," said Carl Roy, president of the Maryland Small Arms Range. "A cadaver could come in here and watch the video, and it would not make a difference," he told this newspaper's Mary Shaffrey.
Those who endured stilted, out-of-date traffic safety and/or sex education videos in high school will understand the irrelevance and uselessness of such "learning tools." What works are tough anti-crime measures such as Project Exile, which come down hard on those who misuse handguns for illegal and criminal purposes. What doesn't work at least, if the object is to address and curb gun-related violence is pestering ordinary citizens who have never misused a firearm with reams of red tape and myriad bureaucratic requirements, such as a tedious, two-hour "safety" video.
Maryland should follow the example of such states as Virginia, which streamlined its concealed-carry law and adopted instant background checks. That way, gun purchases by law-abiding citizens can be completed in just one day. After all, law-abiding gun owners never have been and never will be the problem.


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