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MARYLAND GUN STUDY FLAWED AND TRANSPARENT, SAYS GUN RIGHTS LEADER

Saturday, March 2nd, 2002

BELLEVUE, WA – A recently-released study that attempts to credit a 1988 Maryland anti-gun law for a reduction in gun-related murders over the past decade is both “flawed and transparent,” said Joe Waldron, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

The study, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, suggests that a law banning the sale of inexpensive handguns in Maryland may have contributed to a nine-percent drop in gun-related murders, or an average of 40 deaths annually between 1990 and 1998. The research was led by Dr. Daniel Webster with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Gun Policy and Research.

“This study is flawed, and probably meaningless, because it only suggests that gun homicides ‘may have’ declined because of a gun law, not that they actually did. By that same reasoning, one could logically ask how many low-income people may have been injured or murdered because they could not afford an expensive gun to protect themselves,” Waldron stated. “The study’s authors admit there was no unexpected change in the rate of murders committed with other weapons. How many of those murder victims were left unarmed to defend themselves by Maryland’s bogus anti-gun law?

Waldron said the premise of the study falls apart completely when the authors acknowledge the fact that gun sales shot up 34 percent during the two years between the time the law was passed and when it finally became effective.

“If this study proves anything,” he observed, “it would only be that dumb gun laws cause a significant rise in gun sales, and that even with this increased number of firearms in circulation, the number of gun-related deaths actually went down. That’s a contradiction that anti-gunners simply cannot explain.”

Waldron suggested that the press and public devote a little more scrutiny to the sources of these studies, and where they get their funding.

“This is really a transparent attempt by Johns Hopkins,” Waldron continued, “to justify a gun law supported by the Center, which, as everyone knows, was created with funding from the anti-gun Joyce Foundation in Chicago.”