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A scarlet letter for guns

Lawmakers¬† in Prince George‚??s County, Md. hate guns so much they want to brand¬† anyone convicted of violating one of the state‚??s convoluted firearm¬† statutes. Stab someone with a knife, and the county won‚??t care or take¬† notice of you after you serve your time. Sell a handgun that‚??s not on¬† the state‚??s list of approved firearms, and the Washington suburb will¬† mark you as a criminal and hold you up to public ridicule.

Beginning¬† July 27, anyone convicted of a gun offense in the county must register¬† with the chief of police. The person will be required to provide a¬† description of the crime, conviction date, home and work address and¬† other ‚??identifying factors.‚?Ě The offender is then forced to check in¬† with the registry every six months for at least three years. The county¬† council, which voted unanimously for the ordinance last month, said the¬† purpose was to help the police ‚??track repeat offenders‚?Ě and ‚??assist in¬† subsequent investigations.‚?Ě

Maryland‚??s¬† attorney general ruled in late June that the list must also be made¬† public. A spokesman for Prince George‚??s County Executive Rushern L.¬† Baker III said they are ‚??working through the process‚?Ě on how to make it¬† publicly available. County politicians studied neighboring Baltimore¬† city and District of Columbia gun offenders registries when drafting the¬† legislation. The Baltimore list was upended in 2011 when a circuit¬† court ruled that the law creating it was ‚??unconstitutionally vague and¬† overly broad.‚?Ě

The D.C. city council started its list in 2009 after the  Supreme Court forced Washington to end its 30-year handgun ban. The list  is supposed to be an internal tool for the Metropolitan Police  Department (MPD) to monitor offenders, though the police are allowed to  share the list with any federal, state or local government agency.

Read the rest of the article in the Washington Times

Written By

Miss Miller is a senior editor at The Washington Times and former HUMAN EVENTS columnist. Previously, she served as the Deputy Press Secretary at the U.S. Department of State and the Communications Director for the House Majority Whip. Miller also served as an Associate Producer at ABC News and started her career at NBC News. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.