Nanny state watch: You can still own guns in Baltimore, just nothing that looks like them

Nanny state watch: You can still own guns in Baltimore, just nothing that looks like them

If nannies on the City Council has its way, you will still be able to own guns in Baltimore, just nothing that looks like them.

Council Bill 16-0761, which passed its second round of voting Nov. 14,  would ban the possession of toy or replica guns in Baltimore that could be “reasonably perceived as a firearm.”

This legislation is in response to police shootings of young boys carrying fake guns perceived as real ones, specifically the non-fatal shooting of 14-year old Dedric Colvin in East Baltimore in April. He was holding a BB gun.

“If we had our way, we would ban all handguns in the city of Baltimore,” said Baltimore City Councilman Jim Kraft. “We just don’t have the authority to do it.”

Recently, anti-gun nannies in the Maryland Legislature tried to pass a similar bill to ban replica guns throughout that state. It failed in part because of federal law that prohibits states from banning the sale of some replica firearms.

Supporters argue Baltimore’s proposal is legal because it bans the possession of replica guns, not the sale.

Bill co-sponsor Councilman Nick Mosby, husband of Baltimore’s State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, told Watchdog that the panel opted for a full ban on replica guns, rather than age restrictions, because “whether you’re a 13-year-old boy or a 30-year-old boy, a toy gun should look like a toy gun.”

The National Rifle Association released a letter railing against the ban, stating:

There is no research or other information provided that links the new bans in this proposed Ordinance to increased public safety or more effective law enforcement.

Numerous businesses will be affected if the ban spreads throughout Maryland, as Kraft hopes it will.

Seuk Kim, part owner of Tactical Airsoft Arena in Rockville, told Watchdog that a ban throughout Maryland would be “devastating” to his business. “It would probably force us to close.

Kim argues that gun owners “have been painting [real guns] for years now,” and can alter their firearms’ appearance however they please, so a ban like this wouldn’t end all confusion. He instead sees increased customer education as the answer.

“Nobody should be taking out any type of toy or real type of guns out in public,” said Kim. “We try our best to educate people: Never take it out in public, never take it out in view where people are going to be questioning whether it’s a real gun or a toy gun.”

There will be a final vote for the bill on Dec. 5. Mosby expects the bill to pass and be signed into law.

Cross-posted from Watchdog.org/Will Horn

LU Staff

LU Staff

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