While he understands that many like to shoot for recreation or even relaxation, Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, a colonel in the Army Reserve, said that doesn't mean you need to have a weapon designed for war.
"It's nonsense," said Brown, the highest-ranking U.S. elected official to have served in Iraq. "The military trains us on these military-style assault weapons to perform a combat mission, and that combat mission does not exist in the communities of Maryland or anywhere in this country."
Gun industry data suggest that recent veterans are one of the country's fastest-growing segments of buyers of semiautomatic rifles. Gun manufacturers have increasingly marketed to them, and the NRA has focused a membership push on active-duty and recent veterans.
Wynne may be among Maryland's most prolific purchasers of rifles that O'Malley would like to ban. Since returning from Afghanistan two years ago, Wynne has purchased seven semiautomatic rifles - a side effect, at least partly, of his day job at a gun shop in Montgomery County, Md. He also just likes shooting them.
"I hear a lot of people say they're willing to move rather than abide by this law," Wynne said. "I say, 'Why?' - why do I have to move from the state that I grew up in - that I went over and served in Afghanistan for? Why do I have to come home to a state that denies my fundamental right?"
Polls show that residents in Maryland overwhelmingly support an assault-weapons ban as well as other rules proposed by O'Malley, such as fingerprinting gun buyers.
But the plight of veterans is one lawmakers, especially in the House, have heard loudly.
Veterans were a heavy presence among more than 1,300 people who on March 1 amassed in Annapolis to testify against O'Malley's plan. Many cited federal data to stress that their rifles are for good, not for harm: Out of 398 Maryland homicides in 2011, two were carried out with rifles.
Witness No. 74 was Adam Obest, a staff sergeant in the Maryland Army National Guard, who was last abroad working in Egypt. Seeing how quickly security deteriorated there, he said, buying a gun was his top priority upon returning to Maryland.
"I came home and bought an M4 and $1,000 worth of suits at Joseph Banks" to look for a new job, said Obest.
"I want to be able to be an asset to my community if I am needed. If there is a disaster, and the road is blocked and I can't get to the armory, I want to be able to tell my mayor that, 'I've got this. I'm here. I can help keep order.' "
Ryan McDonald was witness No. 684. He survived two explosions in combat outside Baghdad in 2004 and 2005 and remains in the Army reserves. He shoots an AR15-style rifle on the weekends. "In the rare case where you could be called up again," said McDonald, 29, "it might be nice to have the skills."
Wynne was witness No. 900. In 2010, Wynne deployed to southern Afghanistan, where he was sometimes assigned to guard the perimeter of bases.
Wynne fired only once, after a commander squawked on his radio warning that combatants were planting explosives near a path that convoys traveled to the base. He is still not sure whether he hit anyone.
"I could probably still pick the gun out of the armory by feel. It probably rested in my shoulder within a millimeter of the same spot every time."