Maryland Gun Bills Status Update 3/21/2011
Maryland ––(Ammoland.com)- Actions this week in the General Assembly: Things moved quickly this week in the wake of the March 8th hearings in the House Judiciary Committee.
We're happy to tell you that, thanks to your sustained and persistent efforts, HB330, HB803, HB1008 and HB1043 all received unfavorable reports from the committee. This means that the companion bills in the Senate are, for all intents and purposes, dead for the year.
HB519 and HB730, two bills we oppose, were given favorable reports with amendments by the House Judiciary Committee.
The amendment to HB519 will remove the language dealing with “ammunition designed solely for the use in a regulated firearm” language. Those of you who watched our testimony on this bill will recall that it centered around this “legislative unicorn” because it's a mythical creature that doesn't exist. We are going to continue to address this language elsewhere in Maryland code because no one should risk being charged for something that is for all pragmatic purposes unenforceable.
The amendment to HB730 has not been posted as of this writing. It will allegedly remove the worst of the language from the bill and seek to form a task force to study the issue rather than to enact new law at this time. We'll keep watching this.
On the pro-gun bill front, HB9 and HB343 are languishing without a vote and will likely be “desk-drawered” by the chairman.
In the Senate, most of the bills are, by default, dead for the year since their counterparts in the House have been given unfavorable reports. The committee did, however, allegedly vote on SB161 and give it a favorable report. It's not showing up online as of this writing. This bill will advance to the floor of the Senate now. Curious enough, its companion bill (HB1043) has already been defeated in the House committee so we question the wisdom of wasting the General Assembly's time with this bill unless the sponsor intends to instigate a petition process in the House of Delegates.
We're providing you information later in this Update on taking action on SB161.
House Bill Summaries
- •HB-9 – Regulated Firearms – License Issued Delaware, Pennsylvania, or Virginia – Reciprocity – STRONGLY SUPPORT Being held in committee without a vote where it will likely stay.
- •HB91 – Courts-Bankruptcy-Arms – SUPPORT – Unfavorable report by Judiciary Committee
- •HB-252 – Crimes – Possession of Loaded Handgun or Regulated Firearm – Enhanced Penalties – OPPOSE No action taken
- •HB-294 – Abuse or Neglect of Animals – Use of Rifle, Handgun, or Other Weapon – Penalties – OPPOSE No action taken
- •HB-330 – Detachable Magazines – Maximum Capacity for Ammunition – STRONGLY OPPOSE – Unfavorable report by Judiciary Committee
- •HB-343 – Public Safety – Handgun Permits – Repeal of Finding Requirement – STRONGLY SUPPORT
No action taken
- •HB-355 – Natural Resources – Hunting – Junior Deer Permit – SUPPORT – (Being heard in the House Environmental Matters Committee)
- •HB519 – Firearms – Knowing Violation of Specified Prohibitions – Penalty – OPPOSE – Favorable report with amendments by House Judiciary Committee
- •HB705 – Crimes – Pawn Shop Sales of Firearms – Prohibition – OPPOSE – Withdrawn
- •HB730 – Public Safety – Regulated Firearms – Mental Disorder – STRONGLY OPPOSE – Favorable report with amendments by House Judiciary Committee
- •HB803 – Criminal Law – Possession of a Handgun – Institutions of Higher Education and Hospitals – OPPOSE – Unfavorable report by House Judiciary Committee
- •HB1008 – Firearms – Detachable Magazines – Maximum Capacity for Ammunition – OPPOSE – Unfavorable report by House Judiciary Committee
- •HB1043 – Regulated Firearms – Applications for Dealer's License – Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements – OPPOSE – Unfavorable report by House Judiciary Committee
- •HB1331 – Peace Orders – Surrenders of Firearms – OPPOSE – This is a late bill that was run through the Rules Committee and is the cross-filed version of SB650 that was defeated in the Senate JPR. It's DOA.
Senate Bill Status Update
- •SB-161 – Regulated Firearms – Applications for Dealer's License – Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements – OPPOSE – See below.
- •SB-162 – Firearms – Detachable Magazines – Maximum Capacity for Ammunition – STRONGLY OPPOSE – No action at this time. The House magazine bills are dead, so this one is effectively done as well.
- •SB-239 – Crimes – Possession of Loaded Handgun or Regulated Firearm – Enhanced Penalties – OPPOSE – No action taken
- •SB-311 – Weapon-Free Higher Education Zones – OPPOSE – No action taken. The House bill, while not a direct cross-file, is dead and we can presume this one is as well.
- •SB-425 – Abuse or Neglect of Animals – Use of Rifle, Handgun, or Other Weapon – Penalties – OPPOSE
No action taken.
- •SB-650 – Peace Orders – Surrender of Firearms – Unfavorable report by Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee
- •SB-929 – Firearms – Knowing Violation of Specified Prohibitions – Penalty – OPPOSE – Cross-filed with HB519 which was given a favorable report with amendments. We'll see where this goes.
Action needed on SB161
Even though the House bill has received an unfavorable report, this bill will continue to come back even if defeated this year. Senator Frosh, the sponsor, has indicated he will continue to introduce it.
Since the bill is going to the floor, let's tell our side of the story to the Senate as a whole and train them to vote against this bad legislation.
What we need you to do:
- Contact your State Senator and tell them to oppose SB161 should it come to the floor for a vote.
- You can find your State Senator using this tool.
- You can email your State Senator using this tool.
- Tell them that SB161 requires duplicate sets of paperwork that is already required by federal law and is a logistical nightmare for Maryland's gun dealers that are small businessmen with limited resources.
- SB161 does not address anything not already covered in federal law.
- Federal law already allows Maryland law enforcement to inspect all dealer records if it is in conjunction with a legitimate criminal investigation. Why else would a law enforcement agency need to inspect these records if not in conjunction with a criminal investigation? This bill creates an environment ripe for abuse by harassing gun shops out of business.
1332 Cape Saint Claire Road #342
Annapolis, Maryland 21409
Mission Statement: Maryland Shall Issue is an all volunteer, non-partisan effort dedicated to the preservation and advancement of all gunowners' rights in Maryland, with a primary goal of CCW reform to allow all law-abiding citizens the right to carry a concealed weapon; and to the education of the community to the awareness that ‘shall issue' laws have, in all cases, resulted in decreased rates of violent crime.