Sir Winston Churchill’s advice to “never let a good crisis go to waste” did not fall on deaf ears with Maryland’s anti-gun crowd.

Earlier this month, Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary released a letter signed by 58 Democratic legislators urging Governor Hogan to close the State’s gun shops in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Regrettably, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are using this crisis as an excuse to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Marylanders.

I eagerly supported a letter in opposition from the House Republican Caucus and was encouraged that a similar letter was also sent to the Governor from the Senate Republicans emphasizing that protecting oneself and your family is not just an essential service, it is an essential human right.

My misguided colleagues seem to think that the only reason why someone would purchase a firearm is to do harm.

In the rural areas of our state, and especially in Western Maryland, we must rely more on ourselves during times of crisis while our already limited law enforcement resources are overextended due to illness and new responsibilities during these unprecedented times. We must assume greater responsibility for protecting ourselves and our families and prepare for the reality that the cavalry may not be coming if we are faced with a worst-case scenario. This is just one of many reasons that we have the Second Amendment.

It is unfortunate that anti-gun activists are politicizing and taking advantage of this public health crisis to advance their agenda. If these lawmakers were sincere in their desire to reduce gun violence, they would have supported proposed legislation this Session that would have added stricter sentences for criminals who use guns in the commission of crimes. Yet once again, they come after lawful gun owners who want to hunt and protect their families and homes.

Fortunately, gun shops remain open and classified as essential businesses at this time.

As your Delegate, I pledge to always defend your rights.