Maryland House ‘Gun Bill Day' Recap
Maryland ––(Ammoland.com)- Many thanks go out to the numerous Maryland gun owners who took time to attend the “Gun Day” hearings on March 8th in the House Judiciary Committee.
The hearings started at 1pm and went non-stop until sometime between 7:00pm and 7:30pm.
Thanks also go out to the many people who took the time to make phone calls, send emails and mail letters to let your elected officials know your stances on the issues.
The video of the hearings will eventually show up at this page if you were either unable to view it live or attend the hearings. You'll need to click on “Judiciary” on the left side and then scroll to the bottom. It's not there as of this writing, but should be there soon.
Unlike the Senate hearings where Chairman Frosh deliberately seeks to punish citizens who take time off from their jobs to attend hearings in that chamber by making them wait until the end of the day, Chairman Vallario once again ran an equitable and efficient day of hearings and we thank him for his professionalism and fair treatment.
Also in contrast to the Senate committee, the overwhelming majority of the House committee members stayed the entire time and did not begin to disappear as their Senate colleagues did. We thank them for recognizing that the citizens of Maryland see these issues as important and that they have a responsibility to hear our voices.
The day went predictably with those that stand on the opposite side of the issues offering up emotionally charged rhetoric and false statistics while our side stuck to the issues and presented the committee members with concrete numbers and fact based analysis of the bills.
Also predictably, those that stood on the opposing side of the issues were almost universally paid representatives of various issue groups or government agencies, whereas those that stood with us were citizens who took time from their jobs to attend the hearings.
It's too early to give any definitive report on the outcome of the bills heard yesterday. There are still several weeks to go.
There was one concrete thing that occurred yesterday that we had gotten wind of earlier in the week. Delegate Simmons' HB730, relating to mental health and firearms ownership, will be substantially amended. The references to the DSM-IV will be removed and the bill will form a task force to study the issue rather than enact any new laws at this time. Delegate Simmons provided a very cogent rationale for the changes by stating that he wished to examine the topic in a “cold and sober” manner rather than seeing the General Assembly rush to judgement in the wake of an Arizona or Virginia Tech-like incident. While we are reserving our position statement on the amendments until we've seen them, we are encouraged by the Delegate's willingness to examine this emotionally charged issue carefully.
There are a couple of bills that have not been heard yet and we'll update you on those in an upcoming articles.
With regards to bills that have already been heard, we now begin the processing of watching for votes on the bills in their respective committees. The bills must receive a favorable report before advancing to the opposite chamber for a vote.
Some bills will crossover, some will be amended, some will be withdrawn, some will be given an unfavorable report and eventually some may make it to the floor for consideration by the full General Assembly. Those that are passed by the full General Assembly will go to the Governor's desk seeking a signature.
Here are some important dates as we approach the final 4 weeks of the session:
•Committee Reporting Courtesy Date – Each Chamber’s committees to report their own bills by this date
•Opposite Chamber Bill Crossover Date
•Each Chamber to send to other Chamber those bills it intends to pass favorably
•Opposite Chamber bills received after this date subject to referral to Rules Committees
•Adjournment – “Sine Die”
The Idiocy of Legislatively Reduced Magazine Capacity
Thanks to the member who forwarded this video clip: The Idiocy of Legislatively Reduced Magazine Capacity
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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.