Letter

printed 02/28/2020

Editor,

I am responding to a Letter to the Editor in last week’s edition regarding current gun safety legislation in the Maryland General Assembly.

I’m not sure Ms. Frazier could’ve been more off the mark with her interpretation of SB208 (HB4, the companion bill she mentioned, passed out of the House of Delegates weeks ago).

Currently in the state of Maryland, no background checks are required on private sales of shotguns and rifles — like sales arranged online and at gun shows, when the seller is not a federally licensed firearm dealer — meaning that felons and other prohibited people have easy access to these firearms, no questions asked.

SB208 would close this dangerous loophole by requiring a background check at the point of sale between the seller and purchaser.

SB208 includes multiple common sense exceptions that allow for transfers between direct family members, and the temporary transfer of shotguns and rifles while hunting, at lawfully organized shooting competitions and practices and at sport shooting ranges or gun clubs.

These exceptions were built-in specifically to accommodate shotgun and rifle owners in rural areas, like the Eastern Shore, where hunting and sport shooting are a common pastime.

Firearms, not cancer or car accidents, are the leading cause of death for kids and teens in the state of Maryland, and across the nation.

And as American women, we are 21 times more likely to be killed by a gun than women in any other high-income country.

Given this data, and the fact that states with comprehensive gun laws experience lower rates of gun homicide, gun suicide, and gun trafficking, why aren’t we working together as a community to embrace these live-saving measures rather than spreading fear and misinformation?

Many gun owners, including the one I’m married to, would gladly submit to a background check, because they are interested in keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people who would pose a threat to our children, our families, and our communities.

Over 90 percent of Americans and the majority of Marylanders support background checks on all gun sales.

A growing number of Eastern Shore parents and concerned citizens expect our representatives to prioritize the safety of our children and communities by adopting these common-sense gun safety laws.

We hope this is the year Maryland closes the long gun background check loophole.

Kady Everson

Berlin

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