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Update on Proposed “Assault Weapons” Ban in Maryland

Friday, February 5, 2010

On Wednesday, February 3, State Senator Michael Lenett (D-19) introduced Senate Bill 516, a bill that would designate certain firearms as "assault weapons" and would prohibit the possession, transfer or receipt of these firearms by law-abiding Maryland residents.  The bill has been assigned to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. 

Senator Lenett’s extreme attack on our right should not be taken lightly.  Under his proposed legislation, Maryland would adopt policies broader then those imposed under the now defunct Federal Assault Weapons ban of 1994.  If passed, the legislation would allow you to keep any preexisting “assault weapon” as long as you agree to register it with the State Police prior to October 1, 2010.  A registration system that could be used to wrongly target law-abiding citizens that own a firearm similar to one used in a crime.   

Specifically this bill would…

- Prohibit most semi-automatic pistols. The bill defines any semi-automatic pistol as an "assault weapon," if it can be fitted with a threaded barrel. Virtually all modern semi-automatic pistols 9mm and above use barrels that are readily removable and replaceable, of course.

- Prohibit semi-automatic shotguns configured for home protection with a pistol grip and folding stock, regardless of barrel length or magazine capacity.

- Prohibit versions of the AR-15 that are currently legal in California by prohibiting any detachable magazine semi-automatic rifle that could be fitted with a pistol grip. California bans this kind of rifle only if it is fitted with a pistol grip.

- Prohibit anyone who lives outside Maryland from bringing an AR-15, M1A, or other such rifle into the state for lawful purposes, such as a training class or marksmanship competition.

However defined, there are more "assault weapons" in the United States than ever before in our nation's history, and the nation's murder rate is at a 45-year low. In pushing for any "assault weapon" restriction, especially one with a broader definition, gun control supporters prove that they are motivated entirely by their warped ideology and cultural bias against gun owners, and care nothing for the facts or the rights of the American people.

With no coherent reason to ban semi-automatic firearms among honest, law-abiding residents in Maryland, SB 516 is nothing more than posturing by an extreme anti-gun politician looking to take away our Second Amendment rights. 

Please contact your State Senator TODAY and respectfully request that they oppose Senate Bill 516! For contact information please click here.

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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.