From Jeffrey R. Gahler:
Dear Harford County Residents:
One of the most frequent questions I have been asked during my campaign for Sheriff has been, “What is your stance on the Second Amendment?” The short answer is that I am the only candidate for Sheriff in Harford County who supports your Second Amendment Rights.
I am fully in support of every citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. Any time I have answered this question; my answer has been strong and consistent. I have stayed the course and remained committed to my position on the 2nd Amendment. Unfortunately, the incumbent has stated his support of the 2nd Amendment, but his actions have been inconsistent and in fact contradict his publically stated views.
The State and Federal responses to the high profile incidents (fueled more by the media than needed) are threatening this right and in direct conflict with your Second Amendment Rights. The entire purpose of the Second Amendment is to prevent the Federal Government from infringing upon your rights. Nowhere is this effort more visible and troubling than here in our state.
The State of Maryland has historically sought to address violent crime by passing increasingly restrictive handgun laws. The reality is that a criminal commits the violent act knowing that the State of Maryland fails to hold the actor fully responsible. Truth in sentencing is absent with small portions of sentences being served upon conviction; sentences for violent criminals who commit crimes with a firearm are insufficient to act as a deterrent and after repeated attempts to hold violent criminal accountable through legislation, effective punishment proves elusive year after year.
Reducing crimes of violence is of paramount importance and eliminating those crimes committed by criminals with firearms is essential to ensuring the safety and security of our friends and communities. Target hardening of our schools, mandatory sentences for criminals using a firearm in the commission of a criminal act, and expanded (shall issue) concealed carry permits are parts of the road to improvement.
• I am a proponent of changing Maryland’s current handgun permit process to a “shall issue” state, meaning that if there is not a clear cause for rejection (past criminal acts or mental illness), then citizens should be afforded the right to got to a gun store, buy a handgun and carry it for their protection and for the protection of others.
• I have very publicly asserted my commitment to work with other Harford County elected officials to both defend the rights of law abiding citizens and modify existing laws and regulations so as to truly enhance public safety once elected.
• I firmly believe that the challenge for law enforcement today is to make the same commitment to defend our Constitutional Rights, particularly the Second Amendment, and make our communities safer.
Again, the incumbent Sheriff has said he also supports the Second Amendment and will tell you a great story in an effort to drive this claim home. In truth, as the Sheriff, in command of the largest Sheriff’s Office in the state, he did not go to Annapolis to aide in the effort to defeat (or to even speak against) fellow Democrat Governor O’Malley’s Gun Grab Bill of 2013. As telling as his allegiance to Governor O’Malley is, what is even more telling of the incumbent’s beliefs is that Sheriff Bane has publically committed that he will enforce any gun law, regardless of its constitutional footing.
For a first hand example of Sheriff Bane’s true beliefs, you do not have to go any further than a previous member of Sheriff Bane’s command staff. Major Michael Capasso, previous commander at the Harford County Detention Center, served the citizens of this County loyally for 25 years. As part of his duties and while in an official capacity, Major Capasso carried a firearm in uniform outside the facility during all of these 25 years. In March of 2012, Sheriff Bane decided to disarm Major Capasso, without cause, removing his ability to protect himself and others. If you care to know Sheriff Bane’s true beliefs related to the 2nd Amendment, ask Michael Capasso.
In comparison, as your Sheriff:
• I will work with our legislators and be an active partner in Annapolis to not only repeal HB287, but to prevent further intrusions against your Second Amendment Rights,
• I will pursue gaining handgun permits for any Correctional Deputy within the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and permit these officers to be suitably armed coming and going from their duty assignment,
• I will not enforce any unconstitutional law that infringes on the Second Amendment Rights of Harford County Citizens and will use the power of the Office to fight the legal battles needed to have such laws repealed or thrown out!
Jeffrey R. Gahler
2014 Republican Candidate for Harford County Sheriff