Today, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee reported House Bill 713 as unfavorable. HB 713 would have significantly diminished the value of legally obtained firearms containing any ivory, even if that ivory was legally purchased or is a bona fide antique. Thank you to all of our members who took the time to contact the members of the Maryland House Judiciary Committee. Your efforts have made a tremendous impact.
Last week, Senate Bill 88 was passed out of the Senate by a 47 to 0 vote. Sponsored by state Senator John Astle (D-30), SB 88 has been transferred to the House of Delegates and referred to the House Environment and Transportation committee where it now awaits a hearing. House Bill 170, companion bill to Senate Bill 88, was passed out of the House by a 137 to 0 vote. Sponsored by Delegate Wendell R. Beitzel (R-1A), HB 170 has been transferred over to the Senate and has been referred to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee where it now awaits a hearing. SB 88 and HB 170 repeal the standard of strict liability in Maryland law, and bring Maryland into line with Federal law. This legislation requires that hunters know or should reasonably know that the area is a baited area. Current Maryland law uses the standard of strict liability that prohibits a person from hunting certain game birds using the aid of bait or on/over a baited area. This standard makes Maryland law more restrictive than Federal law, and can ensnare an unsuspecting hunter who has no knowledge that bait could be in the area.
Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated as floor votes are scheduled and this pro-hunting legislation continues to move forward in the House. In the meantime, please contact your state Senator and urge him or her to SUPPORT House Bill 170.