Senate Bill 144 was introduced last month and now awaits action in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Simply put, SB144 requires subjects of final and temporary protective orders to surrender their firearms to law enforcement until the order expires. Unlike the federal law that prohibits gun possession in these circumstances, this bill would allow seizure even after a hearing where the person being restrained had no opportunity to participate, and requires guns to be seized by police; federal law allows a person to find other places to dispose of his guns while an order is in effect.
Information from the governor’s office, as reported by WBAL TV, states that there are in excess of 6,700 final protective orders and 382 temporary orders on file with the state. Only 75, barely over 1%, involve gun owners.
Though domestic abuse is undeniably tragic, this legislation is an unnecessary overreaction. Under this bill, a victim of false allegations who had no opportunity to contest those charges in court cannot defend himself at home or simply possess his own guns for any other lawful purpose.
Please continue checking your email and www.NRAILA.org for updates on this bill.