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Duncan Challenges Ehrlich on Guns


The props this time were not lifesize cutouts of the other candidates. They were real guns, and they came in handy as Montgomery County executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) took a few potshots at Gov. Robert E. Ehrlich Jr.'s (R) political record on gun control.

"As soon as our governor's record is questioned, he wants to throw around words like 'lies' and 'distortions'," Duncan said at a news conference at a park in Rockville.

Duncan, with the sister of a sniper victim and the president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence at his side, said Ehrlich has consistently opposed state and federal legislation that would ban assault weapons.

Duncan, who is running for governor, was also doing what he could to get a little more news-cycle mileage out of a controversy that started last weekend after his campaign aired a 15-second television spot in the Baltimore market that said Ehrlich "thinks we need more assault weapons on the street."

That remark prompted Ehrlich's campaign to angrily accuse Duncan's camp of spreading falsehoods about the governor's views. The campaign also asked TV stations not to run the ads.

"The governor has an unequivocal record of being tough on crime, getting criminals off the street, particularly criminals who use guns," said Bo Harmon, Ehrlich's campaign manager. "Doug Duncan can try to change the subject but the fact remains that he's running TV ads and making public statements that make completely false claims about the Governor's position. To say that the governor--or anyone for that matter--would want more guns on the street is laughable on its face, as the independent-minded voter would recognize."

But Duncan threw down a new challenge too: he said he would yank his ads if Ehrlich stated his support for an assault weapons ban.

"Just ask him. He'll wiggle. He'll squirm," Duncan said.

Fredrick Kunkle

By Phyllis Jordan  |  May 17, 2006; 4:51 PM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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