On Monday, April 7, the Maryland General Assembly adjourned for the 2008 legislative session. This was a successful session for Maryland’s law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen as several pro-hunting bills were passed or enacted into law and all the anti-gun bills were defeated.
The two pro-hunting bills that were approved by the Governor were HB840 and HB938.
- House Bill 840 (Sunday hunting) will authorize a person in Washington County to hunt deer on specified Sundays on private property with a bow and arrow during October and November.
- House Bill 938 (Sunday hunting) will remove Montgomery County from the list of counties in which deer hunting on private lands on specified Sundays is prohibited.
The bills pending the Governor’s approval are HB1482 and SB878.
- Two other Sunday hunting bills, House Bill 1482, introduced by the Harford County delegation and Senate Bill 878, would both remove Harford County from the list of counties in which deer hunting is prohibited on private property on the first Sunday of the bow-hunting season in November and the first Sunday of the deer firearms season.
Two pro-gun bills that didn’t pass but deserve to be mentioned are HB1060 and SB 944.
- House Bill 1060 passed out of the House of Representatives unanimously by a vote of 136 to 0. HB1060 (“Castle Doctrine”) would provide civil liability protection for damages from personal injury or death of an individual who enters a person’s home or business with the intent to commit a crime. Although HB1060 was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee, it is encouraging that it made it out of the House with such overwhelming support.
- Senate Bill 944, “Emergency Powers” Legislation, received broad bi-partisan support from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee but was held by the Committee Chairman.
The following bills were defeated thanks to the hard work of NRA members across Maryland:
- House Bill 517, would have required ammunition manufacturers to serialize all handgun ammunition in the state while forcing gun owners to dispose of all non-serialized ammo. HB 517 would have also created an ammunition database operated by State Police and funded by a five-cent tax on each round of ammunition.
- Two “Lost or Stolen” bills, House Bill 880 and Senate Bill 585 would have required the reporting of lost or stolen firearms within 72 hours.
- Senate Bill 851 would have expanded the reporting requirements and extensive record keeping for licensed firearm dealers (beyond Federal law). SB851 regulated ownership of retail stores, which sell firearms.
- House Bill 655 and House Bill 657 would have prohibited the DNR from issuing hunting licenses to those under the age of 13. HB657 would have prohibited black bear hunting in the state of Maryland.
It is because of the many NRA members and law-abiding gun owners across the state of Maryland that this legislative session was as successful as it was. Please continue to voice your Second Amendment concerns to your State Representatives and Senators throughout this legislative break. Please also keep checking www.NRAILA.org for further updates.