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Maryland: Senate Bill 281 Passes Out of Committee in the Dark of Night

Friday, February 22, 2013

Governor O’Malley’s Misguided Gun Control Scheme now heads to the Senate Floor

Late last night, Governor O’Malley’s gun control package, Senate Bill 281, was passed by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee by a 7-4 vote.  This all-out assault on your right to self-defense now goes to the Senate Floor where it will likely be heard and voted on next week.  Several amendments listed below were added to this bill, but it remains an affront to law-abiding citizens throughout the state of Maryland, and must be strongly opposed in its current state. 

Thank you to senators Norman Stone, Nancy Jacobs, Chris Shank and Joe Getty for voting to support the Second Amendment and your rights in Maryland by opposing SB 281 in Committee.

Senators Brian Frosh, Lisa Gladden, Jamie Raskin, Bobby Zirkin, Anthony Muse, Jim Brochin and Jennie Forehand voted in favor of Governor O’Malley’s legislation knowing full well that this bill would seriously impair Marylanders’ ability to defend themselves. The seven senators who voted for this bill heard testimony from Marylanders for hours, received your phone calls and emails, and ignored the voices of their constituents and voters.  Marylanders should keep this in mind in the upcoming 2014 elections, and choose legislators who understand they work for the people instead of being a puppet for the Governor.

A few of the amendments to the bill include:

Two-Feature test:  So called “Assault Weapons” will be defined using 2 features instead of the original one feature.  The bill now includes a ban on the transport, sale, purchase, transfer or possession of commonly owned semi-automatic centerfire rifles that have a detachable magazine and two additional characteristics – such as a pistol grip, telescoping stock, flash suppressor, threaded barrel etc.  The 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which was shown to have absolutely no effect on reducing crime, also used this criteria. This two-feature test still outlaws a majority of the most popular and commonly owned semi-automatic firearms.

License Fees Reduced:  Fees for renewing and applying for a firearm license have been reduced.  The imposition of requiring a license to own a firearm is still an affront to Maryland Citizens who should not have to ask for the government’s permission in order to exercise a fundamental right to self-defense.

Training Requirements Reduced:  The amount of training required in order to apply for a firearms license is reduced by half. Instead of 8 hours originally mandated by SB 281, you now have to complete 4 hours.

No changes to arbitrary Magazine Capacity Limit:  No amendments were made to change the arbitrary limit of ten rounds that was placed on the capacity of magazines. Standard capacity for some semi-automatic rifles is 30 rounds.  This is a factory standard amount, not “high capacity” as anti-gun zealots claim.

Other amendments to the bill have been added and under review to determine their effect.

Senate Bill 281 is not scheduled to be heard yet, but it will likely take place early next week. Please contact your Senator and strongly urge them to Oppose Senate Bill 281.

Also, House Bill 294, companion to SB 281 will be heard on March 1 by the House Judiciary Committee at 1:00PM.  It is important that you call and e-mail your state Delegates and members of the House Judiciary Committee TODAY and also plan to testify at the March 1st hearing in Annapolis!

Contact information for your legislator can be found here.

House Judiciary Committee contact information can be found 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.