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Maryland Update on Pro- and Anti-Gun Legislation

Friday, March 20, 2009

House Bill 296 and House Bill 302, both high priority matters for Governor Martin O’Malley (D) and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown (D), have passed the House and are pending in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. These bills require the subject of a final or temporary protective order to surrender his or her firearms to law enforcement until the order expires. Unlike federal law, which allows a person to find other places to dispose of his firearms while an order is in effect, these bills would require law enforcement to seize someone’s firearms, even if the subject of the order had no opportunity to participate in the hearing. Domestic abuse is tragic and deplorable, but these bills deny due process to those who have not been convicted of a crime.

Under this legislation, 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. Simply put, HB296 and HB302 trample upon Marylanders’ due process rights.

Please contact your State Senator and express your concern regarding HB 296 and HB 302. Contact information can be found by clicking here.

An NRA-backed bill, House Bill 359, failed to make it past a full house vote. HB359 would allow an eligible citizen who has had a temporary or final protective order issued on their behalf to be issued a concealed handgun permit by the Secretary of State Police. This would have ensured that law-abiding Marylanders facing a serious threat of abuse could exercise their Right-to-Carry for self-defense. We thank our members for voicing their support for HB 359.

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CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.