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Ehrlich undecided on assault rifles

Discussion in 'Legal' started by MikeK, Feb 6, 2004.

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  1. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    And just the otherday he was opposed.

    Governor is undecided on assault rifles
    Md. ban would outlaw sale of 45 long guns, copycats
    By Kimberly A.C. Wilson
    Sun Staff
    Originally published February 4, 2004
    As momentum builds for a statewide assault weapons ban to replace a federal one that is expiring, all eyes are on Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who voted against the federal law while in Congress.

    Ehrlich said yesterday that he hasn't taken a position on legislation introduced in the Senate by Montgomery County Sen. Robert J. Garagiola and being prepared in the House by Del. Neil F. Quinter, that would expand the state's 1994 ban on assault pistols to include assault rifles and weapons that share their characteristics. The bills have attracted 69 co-sponsors.


    The issue places Ehrlich in an unenviable position: Backing the ban would be a reversal of his previous positions on the issue and a source of consternation for his rural and conservative constituents, who were hoping the state would shed its anti-gun reputation.

    But if he opposes it - while memories of the sniper shootings and trials are still fresh in Marylanders' minds - the move could expose an Achilles' heel of his carefully tended image as a moderate Republican.

    "Politically, it's going to be very difficult for him to walk away from his conservative base on this," said Donald F. Norris, professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

    "And if he reverses his position in this state, I am not sure that it does him a lot of good with the gun-control crowd because they tend not to be inclined to vote for conservative Republicans. I can't imagine Montgomery County going for Ehrlich just because of one vote on assault weapons," Norris said.

    Yesterday, Ehrlich straddled the fence while voicing doubts that a ban would lower crime in a state whose largest city remains one of the country's most violent. Proven strategies are the only cure, he said.

    "We devote our time, money, energy and resources to things that work - not things that sound politically correct," the governor said.

    As a state delegate, Ehrlich voted in 1994 to keep Maryland from becoming one of a handful of states with some sort of military weapons ban. As a freshman congressman, he voted with other Republican lawmakers in a failed effort to repeal the federal assault weapons ban in 1996.

    The proposed state ban would grandfather in legally registered firearms covered by the new law, while prohibiting new sales or registrations of 45 named guns.

    In addition, the state Handgun Roster Board, which tracks newly manufactured pistols and adds those that match characteristics of previously banned assault handguns to the state's list of prohibited weapons, would also monitor copycat assault rifles. And a provision of the bill allows Maryland dealers who have stocks of the banned firearms on Sept. 14 to sell their supply.

    Sen. Brian E. Frosh, chairman of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, backs the legislation -- despite reservations about the dealer provision.

    "That's nothing I would want to see in a perfect bill," Frosh said. "Still, when you boil it all down, the ban becomes for me an issue of common sense. I mean, there are plenty of ways you can bring down a deer and defend yourself without these rifles."

    The Maryland bills come as states across the country scramble to create new law before the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons, which the Republican-controlled Congress appears unlikely to renew, expires on Sept. 13, 2004.

    "I don't think that anybody wants to see these guns back on the street after the ban expires," Garagiola said.

    Lawmakers noted specific instances to buttress their point: the 1989 Stockton, Calif., school shootings that left five children dead and 39 wounded; Columbine, Colo., where a pair of students killed 13 and wounded 20; and the 2002 D.C.-area sniper shootings that injured three and killed 10, six of them in Maryland.

    Convicted snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo used a Bushmaster AR-15, a civilian version of the M-16, during the shootings.

    The weapon, a modified semiautomatic assault rifle, isn't specifically covered by the current federal law but is named among the 45 semiautomatic rifles that could be banned in Maryland.

    "All this bill does is to extend it to the big guys, the assault rifles," said Leah Barrett, spokeswoman for CeaseFire Maryland, a gun-control group.

    "Of course the gun nuts are saying, 'slippery slope' and all that. But the sniper used this Bushmaster AR-15, and these weapons are designed to instill fear," Barrett said.

    But voices on the other side pointed out that the sniper shootings were the result of a gunman's aimed shot rather than a barrage of fire.

    "What those people did with that firearm they could have done with any other type of rifle," said John H. Josselyn, legislative vice president Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, which represents 26 clubs and about 4,500 gun owners in Central Maryland.

    Sonia Wills, whose son Conrad Johnson became the snipers' final victim, now sits on Ceasefire's board of directors.

    "We do need to have these weapons banned, and considering what's happened to my son, I've taken a deep interest in this issue," she said yesterday. "I knew I had to try to make a difference."

    Josselyn vowed to do the same, noting a public relations push that gun advocates directed at former House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. in retaliation for his stance on gun locks. "He'd been in for 28 years, and we got him out."

    Sun staff writer David Nitkin contributed to this article.



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  2. nico

    nico Member

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    Does anybody else think we might be better off if the "snipers" had used a TC Encore muzzle loader? Maybe then, these people would see that the crimes, no matter how horrible they were, could have been perpetrated with any long gun and that if a "hunting rifle" were used, the fatality rate would have been much higher. If they had used a 30-06 M70 with a VX-II and made exactly the same shots, would there have been any survivors? Would people be pushing for the ban on "sniper rifles" or would they finally realize that criminals need to be punnished, not the tools they use. Where are the cries for a ban on full sized domestic cars? After all, they also used one of those:cuss: I'll be writing the governor (again) and the people in the comittee that's debating the law this weekend. I would go to that rally you guys mentioned, but there's really no way I can get out of school. :banghead:
     
  3. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    Well said Nico.

    Did these "sniper" idiots ever take more than one shot? I know they never took more than five -- which is the capacity of your average hunting rifle. How in the world does banning ARs and enforcing sales of trigger locks stop anyone from doing what these idiots did?:banghead: :cuss: :fire: :scrutiny:
     
  4. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    Well....Tuesday is showtime. I really wish more of my fellow shooters could attend this hearing with me....it's gonna' be a whopper if this gets passed in its current form.

    Don't be fooled into thinking this is just about evil black rifles. It also bans tons of semi auto pistols and shotguns.:fire:

    Keep sending the emails and making the calls to your elected officials, especially Mr. Ehrlich:(
     
  5. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    I watched Senators Nancy Jacobs and Grosfeld debate the AWB on ch. 22 tonight. Prior to that John Jocelyn as well as Leah Barret gave snippets. (Of course the anti's got a bigger slice of time). JJ brought up the same point as Nico on the any rifle/ one shot. LB held up one of those evil AR's and stated how evil it was and could only be used to kill people. Actually, once I held one I don't know how you couldn't like it.

    The debate consisted of Grosfeld lying, screaming and getting emotional. Jacobs stayed calm, stated facts and good analagies. Of course this strategy doesn't seem to have gotten us far.

    The show will be aired again at 10:30 AM Sunday.

    We need more people on Tuesday. It should be well above 20, but the anti's are mobilized too. Shame all of your gun-owning acquaintances into being there. We still have a dismal count percentage-wise from THR.
     
  6. nico

    nico Member

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    The thing that sucks is if Jacobs had used Grosfeld's tactics, she would be labeled as a right wing wacko or an extremist, or some other bs label that antis use to discount us. I'll have to set my vcr to record it on sunday.
     
  7. natedog

    natedog Member

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    That's probably the only AR-15 accessory I HAVEN'T heard off: a fear inducer!
     
  8. Norton

    Norton Member

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    MikeK:

    There was an article in the Wash Post that said something to the effect that there were an expected 500 pro-gunners coming from Western MD on Tuesday:cool:
     
  9. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    I've been doing some lurking over at www.ar15.com, and even met a few guys from there last night. There's a bunch of activity happening from that forum as well.

    Interestingly enough, these guys had not even heard of The High Road.....so expect a few new members.

    Also, there's a group of guys from Continental Arms heading to Annapolis, as well as a group of regulars from Bart's Sports in Glen Burnie.
     
  10. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    Good news Norton and Spot. I made a post about it over at the Sig forum. They were talking about ccw in MD. Nice thought, but if this bill passes there won't be much to ccw except that single action revolver.

    I had heard that a contingent was coming from Western MD. If it really is 500 that would be great. I know a bunch are coming from Monumental and I've been harassing all my gun-owning friends.

    This bill may have finally got us off our a**es.

    The Post had an editorial this morning on the ban. Don't let those uzi's and AK-47's back on the street. If it were only those it would be bad enough, but the anti's all ignore the other guns on the list and the REGISTRATION. They also mention that Ehrlich opposes the ban.

    Keep fighting!
     
  11. Harry Tuttle

    Harry Tuttle Member

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    i will be away on a business trip

    but the Maryland TRT is mobilized for Tuesday
    I'm hoping that the MD-ar15.com crowd shows as well

    Keeping decorum in the hearing room guarentees
    our not being cleared from the hall
    and the MAHAites taking our seats

    keeping decorum outside and inside
    the Tuesday morning MAHA training session is optional

    :evil:
     
  12. Harry Tuttle

    Harry Tuttle Member

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    > <http://www.herald-mail.com/module=displaystory&story_id=72475&format=html>
    > Wednesday February 4, 2004
    > Sportsmen take aim at gun ban
    > by LAURA ERNDE
    > laurae@herald-mail.com
    >
    > Washington County sportsmen will join hundreds of others who plan to
    > descend on Annapolis next week to try to block major gun-control
    > legislation.
    >
    > "It's going to get quite crowded down there," said Steve Palmer,
    > president of the Washington County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.
    >
    > Their target is legislation that would extend the rules of a federal
    > assault weapons ban that is set to expire Sept. 13.
    >
    > Palmer said wording of the proposed law is so vague that it could be
    > used to ban guns used for legitimate purposes such as hunting and
    > target shooting.
    >
     
  13. Sisco

    Sisco Member

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    Nope. Even more fuel for the anti's fire. I can hear it now; "All guns, even single shot hunting guns are a threat to society and should be banned!!"

    Whenever one of these unfortunate incidents happen and gun owners are angered by the act of an unstable individual you can almost bet the folks over at the Brady Center are doing high-fives and praying for a high body count. Sure it makes their job of spreading propaganda easier if the weapon involved is an "evil assault rifle" but give them an inch and they'll take a mile.
     
  14. Mark Tyson

    Mark Tyson Member

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    I seriously doubt that the Brady bunch, dishonest as they are, are so cynical that they would celebrate news of a mass murder.

    If the DC snipers had used a muzzleloader it might galvanize all the hunters and collectors to our side. As it is they don't care because nobody's trying to ban "their" guns.
     
  15. Jeff Thomas

    Jeff Thomas Member

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    The ignorance reflected in that article is appalling. So common. Indeed, it didn't matter whether the DC sniper(s) had a deer rifle or a .50 BMG.

    Mark, to your point ... I agree that anti-self defense wackos don't celebrate bloodshed. However, their hearts clearly jump at the opportunity when a tragedy occurs. To them, it is a political tool. They are "true believers". When Columbine occurred, their propaganda was up on the web site of Handgun Control, Inc. that day. The bodies weren't even cold.

    Good luck in MD. Perhaps the state can be made habitable again. Personally, I've given up on ever visiting or living again in the NE.

    Regards from TX
     
  16. Norton

    Norton Member

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    I just hope that Honorable Governoe Erhlich remembers who the people in MD were that put him in office. I'd just as soon fall on my sword as vote again for him if he doesn't show the chutzpah to veto this thing if it even makes it to his desk.


    On another note: Did anyone get an answer from Sen Haines' office on where he stands on the bill? When I called on Tuesday, he was the only one of the 7 members on the Judicial Proceedings Committee not coming down on one side or the other of the issue. If we can get him on our side of the bill, we can bottle this thing up in committee and it will never be heard, right?:confused:
     
  17. Norton

    Norton Member

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    Follow up to previous post for clarification:

    RE: Judicial Proceedings Committee.....3 in favor of bill, 3 against...Haines was undecided. He is a pivotal vote on the bill.....
     
  18. TheOtherOne

    TheOtherOne Member

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    It doesn't and they all know it. It's only designed to pave the way for the next gun ban.
     
  19. Harry Tuttle

    Harry Tuttle Member

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    GOLDILOCKS GUN CONTROL

    This one is too big
    This one is too small
    This one has no sporting use

    If a .223 AR 15 is a "big guy"
    What is a 50bmg M82A1?
     
  20. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    Thanks for the good wishes Jeff. I agree with your assessment of the anti's. I have a cousin about 1 1/2 hours east of Dallas encouraging me to move there. If I could only talk my family into it or hit the lottery........

    Norton, I count 11 on the JPC. Haines does appear to be one of the swing voters. He hasn't replied to me, but then again none of the members are my reps and the only two that replied were real pro-gun (Mooney and Jacobs).
     
  21. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    Two more from the Sig forum.
     
  22. Cliff

    Cliff Member

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    Yes indeed.:D
     
  23. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    Cliff - I thought I recognized the name.
     
  24. Norton

    Norton Member

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    Mike K:

    Hmmm....the lost that I had only showed 7 names....I wonder who the others are that I missed?
     
  25. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Member

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    "I seriously doubt that the Brady bunch, dishonest as they are, are so cynical that they would celebrate news of a mass murder."

    Sorry to disagree, but I think they smell blood as keenly as sharks, and go after it just as quickly. Words--certainly words that can be used on THR--cannot describe what I think of these vultures.
     
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