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A soldier's view of Md. gun laws [Letter]

In the near future I am moving to Maryland. I wish I could say I was happy about this prospect and the adventure of living in a new place, but I'm not. What concerns me is that I am assumed to be a criminal by the state of Maryland. You see, I am one of those crazy gun owners ("Maryland gun law improves safety," Jan. 14).

I own handguns that have standard capacity magazines of more than 10 rounds. I own shotguns. I own rifles. I also have a concealed handgun licenses from three states and can carry concealed legally in approximately 42 states. Maryland is not one of those states, of course.

I fear for my safety and freedom in Maryland on hearing news that having a concealed carry license from another state was probable cause enough for police to detain a Florida man traveling through Maryland. This was not the random act of some "bad apple cops." This is an attitude that is prevalent in the state's liberal politics.

Why would I as a law-abiding citizen, a soldier and gun owner feel comfortable moving to a state that openly displays such hostility in its legislation and the practices of some of the least respected law enforcement in the country?

I find it disconcerting that in my own country, a country whose freedoms I have fought to protect, I would be treated as a criminal simply for owning firearms. Is this what our country has come to, that gun owners perpetually guilty until proven innocent?

I am being ordered by the military to move to Maryland, otherwise I wouldn't think twice about it. Maryland's gun laws create an environment ripe for criminal activity, as was displayed in the first six days of the year when eight people were killed in Baltimore alone. I actually feel safer here in Afghanistan than I do in Baltimore.

Marcus Byrne, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan

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