Late last night, the Maryland General Assembly adjourned from their 2019 Legislative Session. This year saw a great deal of anti-gun legislation introduced and created a preview of the anti-gun wish list in Annapolis. SB 1000/HB 1343, aimed at removing citizen oversight,did make it through and has been sent to the desk of Governor Larry Hogan for his consideration. Please contact Governor Hogan and urge him to veto Senate Bill 1000.
Senate Bill 1000 seeks to remove citizen oversight regarding the appeals process for Maryland wear and carry permits. Current law allows individuals who are denied a wear and carry permit to file an appeal to the Handgun Permit Review Board, a group of five members of the public appointed by the Governor. SB 1000 would dissolve this board, thus removing all public oversight, and make all appeals be filed through an administrative office, a process riddled with delays and potentially designed to sustain permit denials.
Many bills failed to pass the full General Assembly that were being strongly pushed by gun control groups such as Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action. Those bills include:
House Bill 786, sponsored by Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, originally sought to create “Long Gun Qualification Licenses (LGQL).” Following the amendments made in committee, HB 786 would have banned the private transfer of long guns in Maryland. This legislation was just another step to make it more difficult for law-abiding gun owners to possess and transfer their private property, even between family members. HB 786 died as the legislature adjourned. Senate Bill 737, sponsored by Senator Susan Lee, is the cross-file of HB 786.
House Bill 612, sponsored by Delegate Julian Ivey, would place popular Colt AR-15 H-BAR rifles on the list of “Regulated Firearms” in Maryland. However, only those rifles owned before October 1, 2013 would have been grandfathered into law. Those who purchased or took possession of all other H-BAR rifles after that date would have had remove these firearms from their possession. HB 612 died as the legislature adjourned.
House Bill 95, sponsored by Delegate Kathleen Dumais, sought to define antique rifles and shotguns as firearms. HB 95 failed in House committee.
House Bill 96, sponsored by Delegate Kathleen Dumais, sought to rewrite the laws surrounding loans of firearms. While HB 96 was amended, NRA remained opposed to the legislation. HB 96 died as the legislature adjourned.
House Bill 468/ Senate Bill 441, sponsored by Delegate Dana Stein and Senator William Smith, would impose mandatory storage requirements for all firearms where “a child could gain access to it.” This mandatory storage law would do nothing more than render firearms useless in self-defense situations. Criminals love this bill as it tips the scales in their favor in self-defense situations. Further, the bill defines a child as “an individual under 18 years of age.” HB 468 died as the legislature adjourned.
House Bill 740/ House Bill 882, sponsored by Delegate Kathleen Dumais and Senator William Smith, originally sought to establish certain crimes relating to the criminal possession or manufacture of 3D Printed Firearms and “Ghost Guns.” While significant portions of this bill were amended out, a provision was added requiring the Maryland State Police to study the feasibility of a registry for all firearms without a serial number, provide cost estimates, all by September of this year. HB 740 died as the legislature adjourned.
Thank you to NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters who showed up to committee hearings and continued to contact their lawmakers in opposition to the numerous gun control bills introduced this session. Also, thank you to those legislators who opposed the above described bills. Stay-tuned to NRA-ILA alerts for more information and updates from Annapolis.