House Speaker Mike Busch, Senate President Mike Miller, and Attorney General Brian Frosh, the same officials who passed the so called “Firearm Safety Act of 2013,” are back at it again. Yesterday morning, a press conference was held to announce leadership support for a package of anti-gun legislation designed to further infringe upon the rights of law-abiding citizens in the State of Maryland. While the press conference highlighted three bills in particular, they are by no means the only anti-gun bills to be heard in the General Assembly this year. Below is a list of all of anti-gun bills:
House Bill 692 would criminalize the private transfer of long guns and instead requires that a dealer process the transfer. Criminals in Maryland do not follow the law and they will continue to obtain firearms illegally through theft, straw purchases and the black market. HB 692 would only burden law-abiding gun owners
House Bill 703 seeks to legally redefine “firearm” to include antiques and replicas, such as muzzleloaders. Antiques and other black powder firearms are owned, collected, and used by law abiding citizens for hunting, recreational shooting, and historical reenactment. This bill would regulate these firearms in the same manner as modern firearms, potentially damaging the ability of many Marylanders to enjoy these pursuits.
House Bill 879 and Senate Bill 742 would ban “imitation” or replica firearms. This legislation is poorly drafted and short-sighted. It will ban the BB and pellet guns that many parents use to teach their children safe gun handling and marksmanship. This legislation will ban the airsoft and paintball guns that many people use for outdoor recreation. It could even ban the drill rifles used in JROTC and ROTC programs, by American Legion and VFW posts, in exercises designed to honor our military and our country.
House Bill 1002 and Senate Bill 906 would ban the possession or carrying of firearms and knives on college campuses. Those with wear and carry permits do not present a threat to public safety, as they are one of the most law abiding segments of the population. Current law already allows each university to set its own policy regarding the carrying or possession of firearms. This legislation is a blanket prohibition that disallows schools from using discretion on their campus.
House Bill 1000, the “Terrorist Watchlist” bill, seeks to remove the right to due process of those on the “terror watchlist.” However, those on the secretive government watchlist have no idea if, when or how they were added and may have not been charged or convicted of any crime. In every other case in which a person is deprived of their firearms rights, they were afforded a judicial proceeding. Due process of law must be followed before depriving anyone of their Constitutional rights.
House Bill 542 would ban the sale of legally acquired ivory and horn products, such as those in bona fide antiques, or taken from mammoth ivory, an extinct species. Many valuable and sometimes historical firearms and knives contain legal ivory. Illegal poaching of elephants in Africa is a tragedy, but ending a white market in legally acquired ivory products will do nothing to inhibit the black market for illegal ivory.
These bills are scheduled to be heard in their respective committees on March 9in the Senate, and on March 15 in the House. Please make arrangements to be present in Annapolis to testify in order to protect your rights. Please also contact your legislators to politely express your opposition to these attempts to take away your rights, especially if you are unable to attend these hearings. To locate who represents you, please click here.