If you want to see how firearm sales can be effectively banned, look no farther than the so-called “free state” of Maryland. Although Maryland’s newly promulgated “assault gun” ban and licensing requirements will not go into effect until October, it is already nearly impossible to reasonably purchase a pistol or other “regulated” weapon in the state, and those who do face waiting periods of 50-60 days and increasing daily. After October 1, with additional training requirements (including range time), fingerprinting, and licensing, it’s likely that waiting times will increase exponentially, and that would-be legal gun owners will face periods of additional months, or conceivably years, before they can receive a pistol or other regulated weapon (though nevermore a so-called “assault weapon.”) Under this scenario, it’s hard to see how many gun dealers will remain in business, or why online outfits would bother to sell here (some already don’t).
Those reading this in Southern or Western states and thinking, “Well, that’s Maryland; it will never happen here” might do well to think again. Maryland is really a Southern state, and its rural areas on the eastern shore and the western panhandle support a culture not all that different from that in the South or West. But it is the dense concentrations of liberal folk in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, and in and around Baltimore, who are driving politics and policy in Maryland. It is less a matter of party affiliation than location that influences opinion.
Other states are not so different. And nationally, the opinions of people in the densely populated urban areas on the coasts generally mirror those in Maryland’s urban areas, thus ultimately threatening to limit the rights of gun owners, even in the South and West, through federal legislation.