Maryland Knife Law Preemption Bill Hearing March 1st 2016

Maryland Capitol Building
Maryland Knife Law Preemption Bill Hearing March 1st 2016

Gilbert, AZ –-( Knife Rights’ bipartisan Maryland Knife Law Preemption bill, SB 653, has been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Tuesday, March 1 at or after 1:00 PM.

If you live, work or travel in Maryland, please CALL or EMAIL the Committee Members TODAY and ask them to please vote Yes on SB 653. That’s all you need to do, keep it simple and polite.

If you would like to show up and testify in support of the bill, we’d love to see you there. Anyone wishing to testify must sign the witness register before 12:30 PM. on Mar. 1 2016.

Judicial Proceedings Committee

Emails: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Senator Bobby A. Zirkin (Chair) [email protected]
Phone: 410-841-3131 | 301-858-3131 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3131

Senator Lisa A. Gladden (Vice Chair) [email protected]
Phone: 410-841-3697 | 301-858-3697 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3697

Senator James Brochin [email protected]
Phone: 410-841-3648 | 301-858-3648 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3648

Senator Robert Cassilly [email protected]
Phone: 410-841-3158 | 301-858-3158 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3158

Senator Michael J. Hough [email protected]
Phone: 410-841-3704 | 301-858-3704 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3704

Senator Susan C. Lee [email protected]
Phone: 410-841-3124 | 301-858-3124 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3124

Senator C. Anthony Muse [email protected]
Phone: 410-841-3092 | 301-858-3092 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3092

Senator Wayne Norman (Bill Sponsor) [email protected]
Phone: 410-841-3603 | 301-858-3603 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3603

Senator Victor R. Ramirez [email protected]
Phone: 410-841-3745 | 301-858-3745 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3745

Senator Jamie Raskin [email protected]
Phone: 410-841-3634 | 301-858-3634 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3634

Senator Justin Ready [email protected]
Phone: 410-841-3683 | 301-858-3683 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3683

Last year’s tragic Freddie Gray arrest highlighted the kind of problems that arise without preemption. Under Maryland law, Freddie Gray’s assisted-opening knife was clearly not a switchblade by standard legal definitions. Even if it was, switchblades are legal to open carry in Maryland and from the arresting officer’s account the knife and clip were clearly visible. However, Baltimore has both a complete prohibition of “switch-blade knives” and a unique and unusual definition of a switchblade that might conceivably include Gray’s assisted-opening knife, although we would contend that it does not. In any case, if knife law preemption had been the law in Maryland, then only state law would count and there clearly would have been no knife law violation upon which to arrest Gray. (Click for more details on the Freddie Gray knife, his arrest on the switchblade charge and Baltimore’s switchblade law.)

Not to be outdone by Baltimore, Ocean City, Maryland, is ranked third in our listing of the 10 Worst Anti-Knife Cities in America. They made news in 2014 by specifically outlawing assisted-opening knives via an emergency ordinance that in a classic Catch-22 also made it illegal to even dispose of one if you were unfortunate enough to own one of the newly made illegal knives in the city at the time.

Knife Law Preemption repeals and prevents local ordinances more restrictive than state law which only serve to confuse or entrap law-abiding citizens traveling within or through the state. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in a state.

Knife Rights passed the nation’s first Knife Law Preemption bill in Arizona in 2010 and has since passed preemption bills in Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and most recently in Wisconsin.

Knife Rights ( is America’s Grassroots Knife Owners Organization, working towards a Sharper Future for all knife owners. Knife Rights is dedicated to providing knife owners an effective voice in public policy. Become a Knife Rights member and make a contribution to support the fight for your knife rights. Visit