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Posted: 10/19/2001 8:27:20 AM EST
[size=4]Handgun Sales Fall; Shops Point to New Ballistics ID Law [/size=4] [url]www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6256-2001Oct17.html[/url] Handgun sales in Maryland have plunged this year and [b]are on pace to reach their lowest annual total in more than a decade[/b], the result of a new gun-control law that has slowed firearm shipments into the state. Although demand for firearms has risen since the terrorist attacks last month, records show that the number of people seeking to purchase revolvers and pistols since Jan. 1 has dwindled dramatically, primarily because of the law requiring Maryland State Police to collect ballistics information about each new handgun sold. During the first nine months of the year, state police processed 17,909 applications to buy handguns. At that rate, fewer than 24,000 people would apply to buy handguns this year -- a 30 percent decline from 2000. [i]It would also be the lowest annual total in at least 12 years, according to state police statistics. [/i] "There's been a spike in the past few weeks, but things were pretty slow before that," said Sanford Abrams, owner of Valley Guns in Towson and vice president of the Maryland Association of Licensed Firearms Dealers. Abrams said he used to sell 200 to 300 Glock pistols annually but expects to peddle fewer than two dozen of that brand this year. The drop in sales is not universal. In Southern Maryland, dealers reported steady demand for handguns this year. For instance, Tom Bennett, owner of Southern Maryland Firearms in Leonardtown, said the Maryland shell casing law has not caused sales at his store to decrease. Though not as many new handguns are finding their way into Maryland, Bennett said, used gun sales have more than made up for any losses. "We're selling about 10 times the amount of used guns," Bennett said. He said many of his customers have purchased guns as a display of defiance to the intentions of the law. "About half of my customers are professionals. They know the laws and they resent the government we have in Annapolis for having this agenda," Bennett said. The statewide sales decline marks a sharp reversal from the past two years. In 1998, 27,667 people had applied to buy guns. Gun sales soared higher in 1999, when 33,038 people applied to buy handguns in response to millennial fears. They continued to rise last year, partly in anticipation of the passage of more gun-control laws in Maryland. But handgun purchases began to drop soon after Oct. 1, 2000, when the new ballistics rule took effect. The measure, part of a broader gun-control law passed by legislators last year, requires firearms manufacturers to provide state police with a shell casing test-fired from every new handgun sold in Maryland. Rifles and shotguns were exempted from the requirement.
Link Posted: 10/19/2001 8:28:33 AM EST
[i]continued[/i] The spent shells contain markings and grooves that are unique to each gun, similar to fingerprints from the human hand. By scanning microscopic images from the casings into a database, police can sometimes determine that ammunition used in different crimes was fired from the same gun. Maryland was the first state to enact a "ballistics fingerprints" law, although New York has since followed suit and other states, including California, are considering similar measures. Many gun manufacturers, however, simply stopped shipping their products to Maryland rather than comply with the law, saying it was not worth the expense to change their production lines to suit a state that accounts for only 2 percent of handgun sales nationwide. "The law essentially barred guns from entering the state," said Carl Roy, owner of Marlboro Small Arms, a shooting range and gun store in Upper Marlboro. "It was a real mess there for a while," he said. "The manufacturers weren't geared up to ship guns into the state, so there weren't any to sell." The law did not cover used handguns or weapons manufactured before the deadline, but gun dealers said they quickly exhausted their inventories of those items. After retailers complained that they were running out of products to sell, state officials agreed to a compromise plan that allowed manufacturers to resume handgun shipments without shell casings. Instead, since June, gun dealers have had the option of taking the weapons to one of six firing ranges in Maryland where technicians hired by the state police test-fire the guns and collect the spent casings. The test costs $20 and is assessed to the gun buyer. Lt. Bud Frank, a state police spokesman, said the arrangement has worked well. "We've made it as convenient as possible," he said. But it's only a temporary measure. The state police test-fire program is supposed to expire in December. After that, manufacturers will no longer be able to deliver handguns to the state without including a shell casing. Frank said that police anticipate that handgun sales will rebound until then -- partly in response to the terrorist attacks, but also because demand usually increases during the Christmas shopping season. "Sales can fluctuate up and down dramatically over a long period of time," he said. "But I don't think they'll drop back down anymore for a while."
Link Posted: 10/19/2001 8:29:32 AM EST
Yeah MD sucks, move south.
Link Posted: 10/19/2001 8:36:11 AM EST
Or west. Stubbs, I used to live in Montgomery County for 29 years. I moved to Missouri temporarily, and will soon be moving to Montana. Maryland is infected with terminal liberalism, and will never recover. It is trying to compete wit MA and the PRK as the most repressive place for firearms owners. I chose not to be a part of it anymore. Good luck, if you choose to stay.
Link Posted: 10/19/2001 8:49:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By Bretshooter: Or west. Stubbs, I used to live in Montgomery County for 29 years. I moved to Missouri temporarily, and will soon be moving to Montana. [i]Maryland is infected with terminal liberalism, and will never recover. It is trying to compete wit MA and the PRK as the most repressive place for firearms owners. [/i] I chose not to be a part of it anymore. Good luck, if you choose to stay.
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[>Q] Its all so sad...so true. [>Q] I'm trying, buddy, and planning.
Link Posted: 10/19/2001 10:55:08 AM EST
If all they keep is the casing, why not just buy revolvers? Or am I missing the obvious?
Link Posted: 10/19/2001 11:03:11 AM EST
MARYLAND IS A FUCKING CELLSPOOL OF ASSININE ULTRA-LIBERAL BLEEDING HEART LIBERALS, GET OUT NOW. I moved to VA this year and WON'T be going back [soapbox] Bulldog OUT
Link Posted: 10/19/2001 11:46:07 AM EST
I grew up in MD, but would never move back there. Too many liberal pansies. I still visit the in-laws about once a year, but that's about it for me and MD.
Link Posted: 10/19/2001 12:19:57 PM EST
So, you buy a Glock and then order a new striker and aftermarket barrel or even a complete slide assy from out of state. What a joke.
Link Posted: 10/19/2001 1:35:07 PM EST
Originally Posted By BobCole: If all they keep is the casing, why not just buy revolvers? Or am I missing the obvious?
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The law applies to ALL handguns, even revolvers. That's cause it's common knowledge that the incredibly bright criminals in Maryland make it a point to dump their spent casings at the crime scene, even when they use revolvers. You see, the politicians know this and are just tryng to keep one step ahead of them. Smart, huh?
Link Posted: 10/19/2001 5:22:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By cwalker3: That's cause it's common knowledge that the incredibly bright criminals in Maryland make it a point to dump their spent casings at the crime scene, even when they use revolvers.
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LMFAO!! Does anything else need to be said? I've learned, when victory is impossible, like in MD, you have to find the morons (liberal) funny to keep your sanity.
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