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I am writing in opposition to proposed gun legislation in the Maryland Senate and House.

The proposed legislation will not accomplish its stated purposes of increased public safety. It will only injure Maryland’s law-abiding citizens. It proposes to fix problems that we do not have in Maryland.

According to Maryland State Police data for 2011, there were only two murders with any type of rifle. More people were killed with knives, blunt objects and fists than rifles.

In Maryland, thousands of so-called “assault weapons” (which is a misnomer) are owned by law-abiding citizens and are used for commonly accepted purposes such as competitive shooting, collecting, hunting and recreational shooting. The additional fees and costs associated with the legislation will amount to $300 to $400. Many see these fees as equivalent to outlawed poll taxes. They are exorbitant fees that Maryland citizens will have to pay to exercise a constitutional right.

The legislation will not hamper criminals who operate outside of the law. The FBI, Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control have issued reports stating that weapon bans do not achieve their stated goals of reducing violent crime. They only harm and restrict honest, law-abiding citizens.

We need to fix our mental health system and allow for greater access. Fix the instant check system now in use. Address the socioeconomic conditions that affect the areas in our state where the majority of violent crime occurs.

Do not harm the citizens of Maryland for the sake of a political agenda and a failed philosophy.

Craig L. Lindquist, Lusby