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Gun Ban in the Crosshairs

Governor

Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan's new television ads have set off a dispute with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s reelection team about just where the governor stands on assault weapons.

In the 15-second spot, Duncan addresses a cutout figure of the Republican governor and says "This guy thinks we need more assault weapons on the street. Like that's gonna help us."

Ehrlich's campaign is calling the ad "false and defamatory" and demanding that Baltimore television stations stop airing it. The letter Saturday, filled with legalese, alerts stations that "The ad states that the Governor did not support 2006 legislation in the Maryland General Assembly to enact an assault weapons ban in Maryland. In fact, the Governor did not oppose this legislation, therefore the concluding statement in the ad is false and the matter is entirely free from doubt. Governor Ehrlich strongly believes that people who commit gun crimes should be off our street - period."

That's not quite the same thing as supporting the ban, Duncan's campaign and gun control advocates are quick to point out.

"Bob Ehrlich, as a member of Congress, voted to repeal the Federal ban on assault weapons in 1996," the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence wrote to reporters. "There is no ambiguity about that whatsoever. It is fact. In addition, Governor Ehrlich has indicated repeatedly for years that he would veto a state ban if one was sent to him for signature."

By Phyllis Jordan  |  May 15, 2006; 10:37 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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