Maryland Gov. Hogan Signs “Red Flag” Gun Control Bills Into Law!

Gun Confiscation Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans
Maryland – HB 1302 “Seize the Guns First, Ask Questions Later”

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- Governor Hogan disregarded our veto requests and has signed the Handun Permit Review Board Bill (HB 819) , and the “red flag” bill (HB 1302). As detailed in our veto letters to the Governor (the letter on HB 819 can be found HERE, and HB 1302 letter can be found HERE), both bills were bad, but the HB 1302 “red flag” bill was the worst.

Basically, under that bill as it became law, virtually anyone can ask a law enforcement officer to file an ex parte petition with a state district court judge or commissioner and allege that the gun owner poses an immediate danger to himself/herself or others because (and only because) he or she possesses firearms. If the court issues the order, the police can show up on the doorstep and seize the person’s firearms without notice or warning. HB 819 did not abolish the Board but added an additional layer of “de novo” review that allows either the applicant or the Maryland State Police to appeal the Board’s decision to the Office of Administrative Hearings for a new, de novo formal hearing before a state Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). That will give the MSP a second bite at the apple to appeal Board decisions they don’t like without going to court. Decisions of the ALJ can then be appealed to the court. The bill also creates new time deadlines for the Board and the ALJ to hear cases.

And that is not the only bad news. The General Assembly passed and Governor Hogan signed into law SB707 (found HERE). which purports to ban bump stocks and other so-called “Rapid Fire Trigger Activators”. We testified against that bill (that testimony can be found HERE). Our opposition and that of others did result in one significant amendment to the original bill, viz., the bill now makes clear that a Rapid Fire Trigger Activator does NOT include a

“SEMIAUTOMATIC REPLACEMENT TRIGGER THAT IMPROVES THE PERFORMANCE AND FUNCTIONALITY OVER THE STOCK TRIGGER.”

The original bill was also amended at the last minute to exempt from its ban existing owners “APPLIED TO THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES BEFORE OCTOBER 1, 2018, FOR AUTHORIZATION TO POSSESS A RAPID FIRE TRIGGER ACTIVATOR” and “RECEIVED AUTHORIZATION TO POSSESS A RAPID FIRE TRIGGER ACTIVATOR FROM THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES BEFORE OCTOBER 1, 2019.”

We and others have checked and it seems the ATF will not accept any such requests for such “authorization.” – See HERE The ATF has confirmed the position in correspondence with MSI. So “Catch 22” for existing owners. The irony is rich, however, that this reality with the ATF also makes this new bump stock ban all the more open to legal attack under the Due Process Clause and the Takings Clauses of the Federal and Maryland Constitutions. Any legal attack on the red flag bill will have to await a case in which it is abused as only such persons will have the standing to challenge it in federal court. We are sure that this law will be abused in short order, just as similar gun seizure protective orders in domestic relations cases are often abused.

There is some good news in the bullets we managed to dodge this year at the General Assembly. For the second year running, the campus-carry ban (HB904) passed the House of Delegates but failed to become law when it was stranded in the Senate Rules Committee. We strongly opposed that bill (opposition found HERE). We also opposed HB 991 and its cross-filed twin, SB 1062 that would have banned the mere possession of any magazine that could hold more than 10 rounds. Under current law (MD Code Criminal Law Section 4-305), a person may not manufacture, sell, offer for sale, purchase, receive, or transfer such magazines, but possession is not banned. We also opposed successfully, for the third year running, the attempt to ban the possession of black powder guns by disqualified persons (HB 402 and SB 448), pointing out that such a ban would be hopelessly ineffective given that such guns are not even considered to be firearms under federal law. Of course, it is an election year, so all of the good the bills never made it out of committee.

The sole exception was Senator Hough’s and Delegate Rey’s bills (HB 29 and SB 27) that would have allowed a person to file an application for a carry permit without first obtaining the expensive 16 hours of training. If that person received preliminary approval, the applicant could then get the training and the permit. That bill passed the Senate almost unanimously (Senator Ramirez being the sole nay vote), but then was “Christmas treed” in the House with non-germane amendments by antis, forcing the sponsors to abandon the effort.

We will try again next year. Not even the hardcore antis seriously oppose this “common sense” bill.

It is greatly frustrating that all the good bills that were submitted this year (and there were many) never made it out of committee.


About Maryland Shall Issue:Maryland Shall Issue (MSI)

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 their http://www.vcdl.org/webapps/vcdl/2017leg.html.

  • 12 thoughts on “Maryland Gov. Hogan Signs “Red Flag” Gun Control Bills Into Law!

    1. This bypasses the Second Amendment and the rights guaranteed within it: therefore it’s not law. And anyone enforcing it is in violation of their oath and the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and should be disbarred and removed from office accordingly.

    2. What says the absence of an ATF implemented application process prevents a person for creating their own application? I’m sure there are attorneys and others who can create and publish a ‘plain vanilla’ application for an AUTHORIZATION TO POSSESS A RAPID FIRE TRIGGER ACTIVATOR. Just use the questions on a Form 4473. Submit it before Oct 1, 2018 and jamb up ATF with these applications. Applying does not mean a rapid fire trigger activator is already possessed. But, most already do. It is called a trigger finger.
      If the application is denied, the ATF will need to decide if trigger fingers that have been trained to be rapid fire trigger activators have to be surrendered to authorities.
      Jerry Miculek can show how any trigger finger can be converted to a rapid fire trigger activator and be accurate.
      Every Frank, Dick and Harry should submit an application. It would be like paying your city taxes with bags of pennies. They would need to respond.

    3. Every moronic snowflake in the state will abuse this new law. As Ronald Reagan famously said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.

    4. Someone should immediately issue these complaints against the governor and his security detail to have their guns confiscated.

    5. So soon we forget our history. We used to have a law that let the police put you into a 3 day mental health evaluation (with no hearing) but they abused it, so Ronald Reagan got rid of it. So here is a similar law, and what do you think the police will do with it? What we need is that original law back, but modified to read that each police department must have an on-call panel of three psychiatrists to make the evaluation for a mandatory evaluation.

    6. You are missing one thing,Hogan is a Republican. I think in Mary Land.They all are a bunch of communist traitors.If you put both democrats and republicans in a wet paper sack,they would both come out together up each ones ass.Mary land is just a no good communist state and all law makers an most cops right along with them.The people of western Maryland,starting on the east side of I-81 should be West Virginia.The difference is like night An day from western to east Mary land.The people need to vote an get that done

    7. The anti-American communist democrats want their communist United States.
      100 million armed Americans stand in their way.
      Democrats are the enemy. Buy a gun and learn how to use it.

      1. Democrats specifically want to change this Constitutional Republic into a Socialist Regime. By any sane definition (moral, ethical, legal, societal, etc), Democrats are “domestic enemies” of the US.

        Buy a gun, indeed…

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