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NRA Responds to Maryland Gun Control Legislation
NRA Press Release 10 April 2000

National Rifle Association Responds to Maryland Gun Control Legislation

To: State Desk - Press Release.
Contact: National Rifle Association at 800-392-8683; Web site: http://www.NRAILA.org

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2000   -- The National Rifle Association's chief lobbyist, James Jay Baker, commented on final passage of SB 211 in Maryland -- gun control legislation that is opposed by the 129-year-old grassroots organization.

"The good news, for now, is that law-abiding gun owners in Maryland will not become gun control guinea pigs on whom so-called 'smart' guns will be tested, but the real effect of this fundamentally flawed legislation remains unclear," said Baker. "In recent days, even proponents of this package have expressed concern
that much of the language in SB 211 is vague and subject to broad and contradictory interpretations.

"Unfortunately, passage of bad law is a symptom of the gun-control-at-any-cost political strategy on the part of certain Maryland lawmakers. In an election year, some politicians can't seem to resist looking for a national media platform by pushing for new restrictions on law-abiding gun owners, even when those
restrictions won't have any impact on the criminal misuse of guns or in the prevention of accidents. It's hard for citizens to be heard and the system to work properly when the Governor by-passes normal legislative procedures and unabashedly twists arms with the state's budget resources."

From the national perspective, however, Maryland is the exception rather than the rule. Lawmakers around the country are listening to the experts and to their constituents who are telling them to back initiatives that hold criminals strictly accountable for the misuse of firearms and that protect citizens' Second Amendment rights. In 1999, 14 states adopted NRA-backed lawsuit preemption legislation to block tax-payer-funded junk lawsuits against lawful gun makers. So far, in 2000, this legislation has been signed into law in Utah and Kentucky and is awaiting gubernatorial signatures in Idaho, Colorado, and Virginia.

The National Rifle Association does not object to laws that require manufacturers to provide appropriate storage devices with new firearms. However, no single storage method or locking device is appropriate for all lawful gun owners. Mandated, integral locks can fail, and they can interfere with the proper operation of
firearms by their legitimate owners. Law-abiding citizens should be allowed to choose -- without government interference -- what safe storage method is right for their personal situation.

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