Annapolis, MD -(AmmoLand.com)- The 2016 Maryland legislative session ended less than 8 hours ago as I write this, and what a finish it was.
The last day of session saw a first for me, the combining of two bills in an attempt to pass a bad bill that wasn’t going anywhere, using a bill that was going to pass. In the end, I am happy to report that not only did that entire bill fail, but we defeated the entire 2016 Ant-gun agenda, and while doing so, we picked up another small win. So, what happened?
We came to Annapolis on Sine Die, to find that SB943 (Domestic Violence – Firearms Transfer), a bill that was on it’s way to passing, had SB908 (Weapon-Free Higher Education Zones), bill that was destined to fail, added to it. So, what did this create? How about taking a bill that was very much pro protection for victims of domestic violence, and making victims of domestic violence fair game for their attacker if they go to college or university. This bill would also require off duty officers to either leave their firearms at home, or display their credentials full time while on campus.
So, where do we stand after the 2016 legislative session?
Bills that we won on:
- HB312/SB208 – Remove the requirement for fingerprints for renewal of carry permits. – Both bills passed both houses and are heading to the Governor for his signature.
Bills that failed, that we supported:
- HB184 – Would require dealers to provide just the HQL number on purchase applications as opposed to making a full copy of the HQL. – Failed to make it out of the Senate after 2nd reader.
- HB301/SB176 – Reduction of HQL fees – Never made it out of committee
- HB317 – Allows for the replacement of “Assault weapons” that have been damaged or destroyed – Never made it out of Committee
- HB374/SB603 – Recognition of carry permits from surrounding states – Never made it out of committee
- HB375/SB184 – Personal Protection added as a definition of Good and Substantial reason – Never made it out of Committee
- HB769/SB214 – Temporary training waiver for a carry permit – Never made it out of committee
- HB1019/SB229 – Removal of live fire component from HQL – Never made it out of committees
- HB1260 – Repeal of Good and Substantial reason – Never made it out of committee
- SB667 – Making a carry permit good for 5 years – Never made it out of committee
Bills that failed that we opposed:
- HB573/SB638 – Making possession of a loaded firearm a felony – Withdrawn by sponsor (Duplicate HB1263) – Unfavorable report out of committee.HB602/SB947 – Requiring personal transfers of rifles and shotguns to go through a dealer – Withdrawn by sponsor
- HB703 – Antique firearms become regulated – Never made it out of committee
- HB879/SB742 – Prohibition on imitation firearms – withdrawn by sponsors
- HB1000/SB1040 – Terror watch list – Never made it out of committees
- HB1001/SB943 – Notification of those convicted of Domestic violence or other disqualifying crimes that they need to forfeit their firearms (We took no position on this, but we then opposed it when HB1002/SB906 was added to it) – Failed to make it past 3rd reader in the Senate (We ran the clock out).
- HB1002/SB229 – Weapons free higher education zones – House bill passed over to Senate where it stalled in committee, bit was added to SB943 which ultimately caused both bills to fail.
This year saw 56 firearms related bills that we had to work on. We couldn’t have had the success that we did without YOU, the members of the firearms community. YOU took the time to call, write, e-mail and show up to testify on bills on the various hearing dates, even when the legislature decided to break them out over several days in each house. When there was a late push on several bills, YOU answered the call to contact the legislature and made YOUR voice heard. In a last minute dash, on the last day of session, YOU again stepped up and on short notice to make YOUR voices heard.
Did we win everything that we wanted? Not at all. But anytime we can keep ALL of the anti-gun bills from advancing in Maryland and make a small advance ourselves, we can call that a win. This is the second year that we have defeated the entire anti-gun agenda and made a small advance. And that is because of you, the firearms community.
It has been a pleasure working with our partner organizations, The NRA-ILA, Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, and The Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, but all of us had you, our members, standing behind us.
Now, I’m going to take a much needed day off.
Maryland Shall Issue
About Maryland Shall Issue:
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.
For more information, visit: http://www.vcdl.org/webapps/vcdl/2017leg.html.