So far in 2014 there has been at least one murder per day in Baltimore. Yet The Sun continues to harp on law-abiding gun owners and minimizes the obstacles that have been forced upon them to legally purchase a firearm ("Panicking over Md.'s gun law," Jan. 13). The criminals involved in the murders do not care about the laws that are passed. If they did, they would not kill, steal or deal or use drugs. Your efforts would be better spent on convincing the city population that crime does not pay.
Any law-abiding citizen who had any interest in owning a firearm at any time in their future life could see the advantage of buying it before these ridiculous laws went into effect. Besides the additional cost of $200 or more for fingerprinting and training, the delay of a month or more and the limitation of 10-round magazines which makes many guns unavailable in Maryland, the thought of the state further infringing our constitutional right was more than enough reason to buy before October 1. Obviously, the Sun can't fathom those reasons and chose to ignore them.
As far as the dealers releasing guns legally after the seven-day period, did it occur to you that there is a storage issue for 60,000 firearms? You believe that dealers should have secured the firearms in what way? What would you say if one was misplaced while being stored for 130 days in a small shop that everyone knows houses guns? I'm sure you would have liked to photograph a gun store with guns stacked to the ceiling.
Responsible dealers filled their safes and when they ran out of room, sought other means to confirm that it was appropriate to release the firearm after seven days. Many tried to run the federal instant check themselves as done for rifles and shotguns.
Do you know that Maryland conducts any number of database searches in addition to the instant check that most of the country uses? The instant check could be done immediately. It would show a criminal history, and if there is a problem, the dealer could be notified to not release the firearm. Instead, Maryland declined to make their reviews more efficient in this way and contributed to the backlog. They would not even provide status of cases that took more than 20 times the normal time frame. The state also obfuscates legal provisions regarding background checks for private transfers and interpretations of the various provisions in so many ways they could not be listed in a short letter.
The Sun's editorial is exactly the reason why I canceled my subscription to the newspaper and will never buy another copy. I also promote this position to friends and acquaintances at every opportunity. The editors at the Sun just do not understand the role of the press in a free society.
Michael Benham, Eldersburg
To respond to this letter, send an email to email@example.com. Please include your name and contact information.