The former Commander of the Maryland State Police Licensing Division, Captain Jack McCauley, signed a sworn affidavit on April 24, 2014, which acknowledges what most of what the law abiding 2nd Amendment Community had known and argued all along.
Captain McCauley, stated under the penalty of perjury, that while he was at a meeting with State Delegates where he was assigned to answer their questions about the Maryland Firearms Safety Act, (SB-281) that he was asked if the proposed ban on the sale of certain firearms and detachable magazines would have any affect on crime in Maryland.
As the Commander was about to answer the question he was directed by one of the Governor’s attorneys, Ms. Shanetta Paskel, to not answer the question.
I serve on the Judiciary Committee, the Administrative Executive Legislative Review Committee (AELR) and was asked to join the Assault Weapons Ban task force or “sub-committee”. While I am not sure it is the same incident that Captain McCauley was testifying about I can’t imagine there were two incidents so close in fact as that described by the Commander.
I was on one occasion in a conference room with Captain McCauley, Sahanetta Paskel, Esq., and about 8 or 10 other Democrat Delegates or Committee Staff, State Police or Administration officials.
Captain McCauley had been assigned to answer questions that the legislators may have about firearms in general and specifically about the Maryland Firearms Safety Act. After a very heated discussion about the Act, I directed some questions to the Captain who was seated to my left about the purpose and effect of the Maryland Firearms Safety Act. Before Captain McCauley could answer he was in interrupted by one of the Governor’s Attorney’s, Ms Shanetta Paskel, who instructed the Captain not to answer my question.
I immediately jumped up from my seat and objected to her interfering with my questioning of the Captain who was there for the very purpose of answering our questions so we could proceed out of an informed position and not out of ignorance. I told the Attorney she had no authority to interfere with the Commander’s 1st Amendment rights when I am trying to protect our 2nd Amendment rights.
I again directed my questions to the Captain, who had those I believed to be other officers to either side of him. Again, the Attorney butted in to direct the officer to not answer my questions. I began to yell at this point that this was bull, I complained that the executive branch was interfering with the legislative branch’s ability to set public policy. I promised Ms. Paskel that I would tell what she had done. I was very hot and very loud at that point because it was clear that the advocates had just went from ignorance to evil being the driving force behind an unconstitutional law which amounted to an illegal infringement on a Constitutional Right for the purposes of political gain. At that point everyone was very uncomfortable and the meeting broke up.
Just a few days ago, Captain McCauley gave sworn testimony that had he been allowed to answer my questions he would have stated that The Maryland Firearms Safety Act would have had no effect on crime in Maryland!
The banned firearms are almost never used in crimes. At most, they are used in 5% of firearms-related crimes in Maryland.
The banned firearms are also not used disproportionately in attacks on law enforcement officers. In fact, the majority of officers who are assaulted with firearms are attacked with handguns
The Act would not have an impact on Mass shootings. The Task Force to Study Those With Mental Illness and their access to Firearms (of which Captain McCauley was the Co-Chair)
concluded the most important factor to preventing mass shootings was ensuring proper mental health care to the public, treatment of mental illnesses, and training law enforcement officers.
That the banned magazines are common throughout Maryland and nearly all new semiautomatic handguns are sold with magazines with a capacity greater than ten, including the firearms used by the Maryland State Police and most law enforcement agencies in Maryland.
That persons wanting magazines with greater than a capacity of 10 rounds will get them by going out of State to make a purchase, rendering the Act’s magazine ban ineffective, except to restrict the rightful choices of firearms and magazines by law-abiding citizens.
Something that I nor anyone one else in the room was privy to happened immediately after the meeting broke up, when the Governor’s attorney, Ms. Paskel told the Captain why she had ordered him to not answer questions. The Captain states that she explained that he was ordered not to reply because “it’s not about policy, it’s about votes.”
In explaining what he believed the Governor’s attorney meant by that, Captain McCauley stated under oath that he interpreted her statement to mean the Gov. was pushing the Act solely to garner political favor, and either believed the Act would have not affect on crime generally or mass shootings, or did not care.
Captain McCauley went on to explain that this attitude is consistent with the Governor’s attitude towards firearms in general since when Captain McCauley was with the Gang Enforcement Unit and Firearms Enforcement Section he was involved with the seizure of a number of firearms that had nothing to do with crime, very few of which were banned by the Act, because an emphasis was placed on the seizure of firearms, because the Office of the Governor wanted to focus solely upon the number of firearms seized, and not decreasing crime.
What is most disappointing is not only that the Executive Branch of Government saw fit to use the State Police as a political tool to achieve a political end which not only does not make the public safer but actually puts them more at threat to harm from criminals, but the press will ignore this gross violation of the Constitutional rights of the citizens of Maryland. You will not see any headlines proclaiming that the Governor knew the lies he spewed to pass his gun control legislation were going to do nothing to curtail crime.
Few will actually hear of the bravery of Captain McCauley in coming forward to tell the truth as he experienced it. I want to thank “2A in MD” and or any others who obtained and made available the copies of the affidavit.
Every citizen in Maryland owes Captain McCauley a debt of gratitude for telling what all those active in protecting our Constitutional rights have argued and have known to be true but we could never prove.
Now we have to hope that the Courts will show the same kind of courage that Captain McCauley and other Patriots have shown in getting the real story out.
It is easy to defend the Constitution when it is not under attack! Too few are willing to stand up for their Constitutional rights when it is inconvenient to do so.
Share this story with your friends, family and other Patriots across the State so that as many people as possible can know what really was behind the “Maryland Firearms Safety Act”.