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Repealing Md.'s gun laws is bad policy and bad politics [Letter]

Laws and LegislationElectionsFirearmsPersonal Weapon ControlDaniel Webster

It is unfortunate that Republican gubernatorial candidate David Craig recently called for the repeal of the life-saving Firearms Safety Act of 2013 ("Craig vows to reverse gun laws, seek sales tax break for Md. goods," March 12).

The key provision of this law, which requires handgun purchasers to obtain a fingerprint-based license from the State Police, is a proven tool to keep guns out of the wrong hands and prevent gun violence.

States that have required fingerprint licensing for handgun purchasers for decades have significantly lower gun death rates than states that don't. A new study by Johns Hopkins Professor Daniel Webster found that after Missouri repealed its law requiring the licensing of handgun purchasers, gun deaths in the state went up even though gun deaths were going down in neighboring states and nationally.

Mr. Craig and the other candidates for governor should also keep in mind polling that shows that 80 percent of Marylanders — including 68 percent of gun owners — support fingerprint licensing of handgun purchasers.

Plainly, advocating for the repeal of the Firearms Safety Act of 2013 is both bad policy and bad politics.

Vincent DeMarco, Baltimore

The writer is president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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