I am writing in opposition to the proposed legislation in both the Maryland Senate and House to ban assault weapons ("Governor predicts assault weapons ban will pass" Jan 13). The proposed legislation will not accomplish stated purposes of increased public safety. It will only injure Maryland's law abiding citizens. It proposes to fix problems that we do not have in Maryland.
According to the Maryland State Police data for the year 2011 there were only two murders with any type of rifle. More people were killed with knives, blunt object and fists than with rifles. In Maryland thousands of so called "assault weapons" (which is a misnomer) are owned by law abiding citizens and are used for commonly accepted purposes such as competitive shooting, collecting, hunting and just recreational shooting.
The additional fees and costs associated with this legislation will amount to $300 to $400. Many see these fees as equivalent to outlawed poll taxes. They are exorbitant fees that Maryland citizens will have to pay to exercise a constitutional right.
This legislation will not hamper criminals who by their very nature operate outside of the law. The FBI, Department of Justice and the CDC have issued reports stating that weapon bans do not achieve their stated goals of reducing violent crime. They only harm and restrict honest law abiding citizens.
We need to fix our mental health system and fix the background check system now in use. We also need to address the socioeconomic conditions that affect the areas in our state where the majority of violent crime occurs.
Do not harm the citizens of Maryland for the sake of a political agenda and a failed philosophy.
Craig Lindquist, Lusby