CCRKBA CHALLENGES MARYLAND ANTI-GUNNER TO APOLOGIZE TO POLICE FOR INSULT

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

BELLEVUE, WA – By insisting that a new federal law that allows retired police officers to carry concealed handguns is “essentially dangerous,” a Maryland anti-gun crusader has insulted men and women in law enforcement and should immediately apologize, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.

Leah Barrett, executive director of CeaseFire Maryland, Inc., made the remark after Maryland Gov. Robert L. Erlich Jr. kicked off a state program to implement the new federal law for retired Maryland officers. Under the statute, retired police officers will be allowed to carry concealed firearms at home or when they travel, even though they are now just private citizens.

“Leah Barrett has allowed her zealous bigotry against firearms and the people who own them to overcome whatever common sense she may have once possessed,” said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “This federal legislation was passed not only to protect the right of retired police officers to defend themselves, but also provide some additional public safety, and Barrett is against that. What on earth is she thinking?

“Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to Ms. Barrett,” he continued, “that the people she has just insulted have devoted their lives to making the world a little bit safer for people like her to live in. They spent their careers putting themselves in harm’s way, just so she could sleep more soundly at night, and shoot her mouth off during the daylight hours on a subject which she clearly knows nothing about.”

Waldron noted that many gun rights activists supported the new federal law, passed last year.

“Gun owners backed the federal legislation, HR 218, in the same manner that we would expect police officers to support any legislation that would legalize national concealed carry by legally-armed private citizens,” Waldron stated. “Her sneering prejudice against retired peace officers exposed for what it is, we’re wondering what kind of rhetoric Ms. Barrett might be reserving for her neighbors and fellow Americans who believe their right of self-defense extends beyond the confines of their home, and beyond the borders of their own state.

“It’s clear Ms. Barrett, and the philosophy she represents, is far more concerned about promoting political extremism than public safety or personal protection,” Waldron stated. “She should be ashamed of herself, but my experience has been that gun control zealots have no shame.”