At midnight, the Maryland General Assembly adjourned from its 2017 Legislative Session, thereby killing all anti-gun legislation that was introduced this year. Prior to adjourning, the General Assembly passed apprentice hunting legislation, House Bill 1427. HB 1427 now heads to the desk of Governor Larry Hogan for his expected signature.
House Bill 1427, sponsored by Delegate Herb McMillan, seeks to create an “apprentice hunting license” that will allow a new hunter to hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter for up to three consecutive days. The apprentice hunter would be required to watch a short online safety video before obtaining the license. Lengthy hunter education requirements often discourage potential hunters from going afield because they are unwilling to dedicate the necessary time to complete the course in order to pursue an activity that they are simply trying out. Eventually, the goal is for these apprentices to complete a hunter education course so they can hunt on their own, which has largely been the case in the states with similar programs.
Thank you to NRA members and Second Amendment supporters who contacted their legislators throughout session. Your action made all the difference. Also, thank you to those legislators who supported the Second Amendment rights of Maryland residents.