Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will hear House Bill 636, legislation that increases penalties, broadens definitions, and places strict requirements on the storage of firearms in Maryland. HB 636’s cross-file, Senate Bill 646, is also scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Thursday. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee has further scheduled to consider legislation, SB 816, that will put most small firearm dealers out of business. Please contact members of these committees and politely urge them to OPPOSE these misguided and dangerous bills.
House Bill 636 / Senate Bill 646 forces an incredibly strict level of firearm storage requirements onto Maryland residents. Current law prohibits an individual from leaving a loaded firearm in a location where they know that an unsupervised child would gain access. HB 636 / SB 646 change the law to replace “child” with anybody under the age of 18, and now requires that guns be unloaded when stored. This legislation also removes the exception to those under 18 years of age who have a firearm and hunter safety certificate. This broad and unnecessary intrusion makes firearms useless in self-defense situations. Gun owners would be subjected to severe prison sentences and heavy fines if they are unable to follow the vague language of this measure.
Senate Bill 816 creates onerous burdens on Maryland’s licensed firearm dealers. Such legislation would make it unfeasible for many licensed dealers to continue to operate, thus depriving Maryland gun owners of their much-needed services. Those dealers that remain would be forced to pass on the severe compliance costs onto Maryland gun owners, raising the cost of exercising Second Amendment rights. This legislation is an attempt to make it as difficult as possible to be a licensed firearms dealer in Maryland, and in turn, make it as difficult as possible to lawfully obtain a firearm.
Please contact members of the House Judiciary and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and ask them to OPPOSE House Bill 636, Senate Bill 646 and Senate Bill 816.