Letters: Gun owners want to be part of the conversation on reducing gun violence; Police reform isn’t doomsday | READER COMMENTARY

I welcome Elise Handleman’s column. She notes that both Brady United and the NRA sponsor efforts to educate children and limit their access to guns ( The Capital, April 11 ). Both gun owners and non-gun owners can favor such initiatives. Indeed, if these two sides could work together, much could be accomplished. Gun owners do not want children to have unrestricted access to guns. Neither do they want the criminally violent or the seriously mentally ill to have access to guns. And there are commonsense solutions. Unfortunately, gun owners are not invited to work on solutions. Anne Arundel County created a Gun Violence Task Force but included no representatives from hunters or the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association. They did include officers and board members of anti-gun groups. So, we got a Bloomberg School report of anti-gun proposals, none of which would seriously affect gun violence. We just ended the Maryland General Assembly session. Gun owners were offered a set of bills that do nothing to reduce suicide or criminal usage. We fought a poorly conceived bill requiring background checks on ammunition purchases. During the bill’s presentation, the sponsor admitted the system could not be used for ammunition purchases. Why were gun owners excluded from any discussion prior to submission? We testified against bills restricting homemade guns. Homemade guns are usually included in statistics with commercial guns whose serial numbers have been removed. But again, gun owners were excluded from developing a workable solution. And we won’t […]

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