Sun misfires in description of gun law

Sun misfires in description of gun law

"I was afraid he could show up at any point, any place … and kill me," the former high school classmate of the suspect told "Today." (NBC News) Scott Dance’s article, “Maryland’s strict gun laws could not prevent Capital Gazette shooting, spurring talk of changes” (July 2), irresponsibly misrepresented Maryland’s new extreme risk law. The author states that “in Maryland, only blood relatives, spouses, dating partners, co-parents or legal guardians can file ‘red flag’ petitions.” But Mr. Dance is leaving out one important constituency that can also file — law enforcement. It has been reported that both the victim of the gunman’s harassment and staffers at the Capital Gazette met with police to voice concerns about the threats they were receiving. Had the new law been in effect, those officers would have been able to take that evidence to petition a judge for the temporary removal of the gunman’s firearms and prohibited him from future purchases. Instead of criticizing bipartisan evidence-based policies, The Baltimore Sun should use this opportunity to educate the public about this policy before it takes effect this fall. Maryland has been given an important tool in the ongoing battle to prevent gun violence. If used properly, it might prevent the next tragedy from even happening. Andrew Patrick, Catonsville, The writer is media director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. Send letters to the editor to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.

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